The Part-Time Economic Crisis in America
Millions upon millions of Americans are currently part of the part-time economic crisis. These individuals are unable to find full-time employment opportunities; therefore, they are forced to obtain one, two, or even three part-time positions in order to make ends meet. In some instances, these individuals are still struggling to stay afloat, financially. In the State of California, 1.2 million individuals are considered to be “underemployed”. According to the Department of Labor, California is the one state in America that has the biggest problem with the part-time economic crisis; however, many states are running closely behind. These include Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Texas.
Individuals that are part of the part-time economic crisis in America are consistently found to live in poverty. These people rarely have any type of benefits and make a lot less than those that have a full-time position. This part-time crisis is a strong indication that the labor market is not at all healthy, despite the fact that America has been in the recession recovery process for quite some time now. Unfortunately, many analysts believe that this particular trend – a highly detrimental one at that – is here to stay for some time to come. This is not good news for Americans.
Part-Time Jobs Put Several Millions in Poverty
According to statistics, at least seven million Americans are unable to find more than part-time work in today’s economy. While it is true that America is in recovery from the recession that originated around 2008, people are unable to find full-time work that brings financial stability and much-needed benefits. As a result, their families are struggling immensely. These involuntarily part-time workers have increased 50% than in the beginning of the recession. Approximately 75% of the individuals that have part-time jobs are considered to be low-income or are poverty-stricken. In addition to this, the part-time jobs that are currently available are considered to be low-quality. It seems that this detrimental condition results from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which instructs employers to provide health insurance benefits to individuals that work 30 or more hours in a week. Companies scale back on full-time positions to avoid having to fulfill this obligation. Examples of such companies include Walmart, Target, Trader Joe’s, Dollar General, Walgreens, and Home Depot. Though the recession supposedly ended five years ago, its effects continue to bring down the work force.
Age Discrimination in the Workplace Results in Financial Difficulties
It is common to see stories within the press about how older people are being discriminated against in the workplace. This is especially true in recent years since the recession and in a world where it is common to only find that part-time positions are available to those seeking employment. Approximately 30% of people that are 53 years old or older have been subjected to some degree of discrimination. Based on studies, it has been found that people who are 45 years or older face the most problems when it comes to finding a job. Many companies believe, starting at age 45, people lack technological skills, people skills, and the optimal health to work in a sufficient manner. As a result of this serious issue affecting older individuals, many are becoming entrepreneurs and starting their own businesses in order to meet their financial obligations.
Workers Unable to Enjoy Company Gains
According to research, many companies are actually experiencing gains as far as productivity and profits are concerned, but, they are failing to share the gains with their employees. It has been found that the gap between what employees receive as an hourly rate and the productivity of companies is the absolute highest since the days following World War II, but this driver indicates America’s issue with income inequality. Owners and CEOs are gaining an exceptionally large share, while workers are only getting a small share – if that. Because of high unemployment rates and the current part-time economic crisis, workers are simply allowing this to happen and are not fighting for raises and bonuses because they are thankful to have a job at all. Companies are using this power and this fact to get more out of workers for less.
America’s Slave Labor Problem
According to studies, many foreign workers are lured into America under the premise that they will be able to obtain a “good” job, only to find that they become victims of slave labor. Individuals are often approached by recruiters that charge a fee for finding them employment. While many do not receive minimum wage, they are offered free housing and other perks. The foreign workers believe this is a better opportunity for their families, so they agree. Then, they are left with a high level of debt in paying the recruiter, as well as any benefits offered with the position. We see this workers commonly working in agriculture, hotel services, and restaurants. These individuals often get abused by those that employ them. Many of the employers will take their pay, cause them to work outlandish hours, and they have their movements outside of work closely watched and controlled. If you or someone you know is being subjected to this type of slave labor, or you feel there is a case of human trafficking occurring, you may call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.