Where do you work?

Posted: 7 February 2017 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,


According to the Wall Street Journal, “never before have big employers tried so hard to hand over chunks of their business to contractors.”

What’s happening is large employers—like Virgin America and Wal-Mart—are choosing from a number of different options when it comes to their workers. One is to introduce robots and other forms of job-killing automation. Another is to outsource jobs to subsidiaries in other countries. The third and latest option is to eliminate jobs within their enterprises and, instead, shift them to outside contractors.

The shift is radically altering what it means to be a company and a worker. More flexibility for companies to shrink the size of their employee base, pay and benefits means less job security for workers. Rising from the mailroom to a corner office is harder now that outsourced jobs are no longer part of the workforce from which star performers are promoted.

For companies, the biggest allure of replacing employees with contract workers is more control over costs. Contractors help businesses keep their full-time, in-house staffing lean and flexible enough to adapt to new ideas or changes in demand.

For workers, the changes often lead to lower pay and make it surprisingly hard to answer the simple question “Where do you work?”

  1. I’m seeing this at my local Wal-mart; they’re ripping out check-out lanes to install more self check-out lanes, which will mean fewer workers needed to do check-out. Now they could use those workers to help keep the shelves stocked, but I’m not holding my breath.

  2. (Externalities, baby, externalities!)

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