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Freelance Nation: Why Permanent Jobs May Not Come Back

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many a good man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:17 AM
Original message
Freelance Nation: Why Permanent Jobs May Not Come Back
Charles Hugh Smith

The U.S. may acquire a new nickname this decade: Freelance Nation. Not only are many of the jobs that have been lost unlikely to come back, but those that do are increasingly likely to be freelance, temporary or contract positions rather than permanent jobs with benefits.

Though it is tempting to hope for a quick rebound in jobs in 2010, recent history suggests job recovery is getting increasingly slower and less robust with each passing decade. The reason: The U.S. economy is undergoing deeply structural changes.

Since the early 1990s recession, every recovery in hiring has been slower than in previous decades. Three million jobs were lost in the deep recession, which began in July 1981 and ended in November 1982. But by the end of 1983, the number of jobs in the economy had risen above its old peak. In the 1970s and 1980s, job layoffs were in effect temporary.

...

While it is tempting to yearn for "the good old days," it seems that the global economy leaves us little choice but an insecure work environment which favors flexibility and continuous upgrading of skills.


http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/freelance-nation-why-...
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:22 AM
Response to Original message
1. "continuous upgrading of skills"
Likely with no corresponding upgrade of pay.
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BobRossi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
2. More unions.
If all workers joined a union we could take back control of our nation.
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angryfirelord Donating Member (248 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. I'm not that pessismistic
If we assumed a fixed model of the world, then that would be true. However, I see three big issues that may bring an opportunity to get jobs back:

-The retiring baby boomers, which will certainly begin depleting the work force. It was supposed to happen last year, but the recession got in the way.
-The rising wages. What was once cheap to outsource is now getting more expensive as market forces push up wages.
-The cost of outsourcing. One of these that is being impacted overseas is IT.

http://www.cio.com/article/29654/The_Hidden_Costs_of_Of...
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ParkieDem Donating Member (417 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. I agree, but ...
... that may still not impact the rise of "freelance" jobs.

In principle, I don't have a problem with it - I like the idea that you depend on your employer only for your pay, and that you (or the government -- not the employer directly) is responsible for your health insurance, retirement, etc. I see more and more younger workers who like this model -- typically, if your income is from a contract job or some kind of freelance work, your hours are more flexible, and you gain a sense of independence that can help you start out on your own one day.

However, in our current system, we have tax-advantaged employer-provided health care and retirement, which makes it harder for "freelancers" to earn a living.
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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-27-10 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. We won't retire if we don't have any money to retire on.
Don't hold your breath waiting.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
17. Does your fixed model of the world
include a vandalized environment, dwindling fossile fuels, decimated resource base, expanding population and global warming?
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blue97keet Donating Member (390 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
4. How many jobs have been "permatemp" for some time?
I was last a contractor for 3 1/2 years.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I work at a state agency where 50% of the employees are part-time, no benes.

Many of these employees have been part-time for years and years.




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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
7. No doubt our plutocracy salivates at the idea of hiring every American off the back of a pickup.
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Jkid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
8. Just like freeters in Japan.
Then how do you get a permanent job these days? Networking?
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Networking has always been the best way to get a job.
Probably even more so in bad economic times.
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Jkid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Then why people still waste their time doing regular job hunts
via the internet, business to business, or via monster.com where they'll get only 20% of the available jobs?

As a aspie networking will be difficult for me.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Regular job hunting avenues are not a waste of time.
You can't win if you don't play.

For me, "networking" can mean many things, not the least of which is just making a point to always work hard and try to do well at whatever job you happen to have. I'm currently reeling in a job offer, and the reason I have this opportunity is because there is a guy at the offering company who I worked with ten years ago. He liked my work, and he remembered me, and he personally recommended that his current employer should interview me.

Does "aspie" refer to Asperger's?
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Jkid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Yes, aspie refer's to Asperger's
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bhikkhu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
13. It could be a good thing, depending on perspective
...as it has always been a questionable circumstance in this country that so much of the labor pool was locked up in large corporations, and so little self employed or involved in smaller more local enterprise.
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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-27-10 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
15. This will force a tremendous cost on our families, communities,
Edited on Wed Jan-27-10 05:03 PM by amandabeech
and country.

Our survival as a social and political entity will be at risk if private sector economic efficiency is allowed to rule everything.

How many young men will settle down and form a family if there is no steady work? Yes, babies will be born, but their circumstances will not be optimal. Some commentators have already spoken out that the removal of factory jobs overseas has hurt minority families disproportionately. Those factories provided solid, if unspectacular, permanent jobs with benefits that promoted family formation and social cohesion. Nothing has replaced them, but the personal, familial and societal cost continues.

Because of the damage globalism is doing here, I thoroughly oppose it and am ready to make the sacrifices necessary to fight it before it is too late and we have lost ourselves and our country.

Anyone else out there feel the same?

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damyank913 Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 06:17 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. I think Globalism will be with us always. Period.
But I believe that if the US wants to have real jobs (as opposed to McJobs), it will have to start making stuff again. Some of these jobs have returned, just not back to the Rust Belt. Why? Unions. American Labor needs to rethink how to represent Americans in this brutal environment. It is simply cheaper to "make stuff" elsewhere. How does a company survive in an environment like that? How can Americans compete with China or Japan or Mexico?
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