Steven Greenhouse has written an excellent article in the New York Times, detailing the rise of part time employment in the labor market.
When I was traveling the country interviewing folks who had been laid off, many of the Americans I met had, in fact, secured a new job of some kind but in almost in every case it was a job unrelated to their established field, a job that paid far less than previous jobs, and, in all likelihood, a part time position.
What Greenhouse’s article highlights so well is the fact that the reliance on part time employees is not limited to big corporations. Small businesses across the country–businesses with a demonstrated degree of conscientiousness–have come to routinely rely on workforces composed almost entirely of part time employees.
It’s a disturbing development. Not just the proliferation of this model but the fact that it is increasingly viewed as acceptable and increasingly a permanent approach to labor in the US. This is what happens when workers are stripped of nearly all leverage, knowing there is always a line out the door of a hundred unemployed workers eager to take any job at all.