There is an evil and ugly flipside to this job recession and economic downtown. There are people who have not lost their jobs, for good or bad, and many of them are overworked, underpaid and exhausted.
I don't know people who are unemployed (save one, and his unwillingness to work is hurting his family), though the status of unemployment will vary if you are a professional or independent contractor vs a trained, skilled employee out of your field, and an unskilled worker just sort of winging it. If you have never really been employed, you don't count the same as one who has been employed and then has lost their job. If you are out of work long enough, you will stop counting as unemployed (part of why numbers change). And if you are working for anyone regardless of pay, you are counted in. Even if your full time (or part time) doesn't pay your bills.
But, I see a lot of professional people in my life. People who are overemployed, working ridiculously long hours, and their lack of support at the office is hurting their mental and physical health. I am not talking about having to go without a receptionist for a few days, but positions that are still understaffed by one or two full time, salaried, skilled workers. I read on here, on OS, how many people have skills but no work. I hear, in real life, how often jobs go unfilled because there are not enough skilled people applying for them. A guest on NPR a few weeks ago talked about the unemployment problem- and the skill gap. Companies seeking people who already have the specific skills at a high level, and people who have the skills, but not necessarily in that field, and people who do have the skills applying and not getting seen. Are the unemployed being held hostage to a false standard? Are they purposefully being kept from jobs that are listed as open positions, by sheer ineptitude on the part of the recruiters?
What is up with this?
It's clear that the recession has slowed, in some areas anyway, and I can see the uptick in personal spending. I hear from friends they are busier, although some fields don't change much (teacher, state worker- they just work harder hours for less pay, not longer) and I keep hearing that the economy is going up. Somehow, I more often hear about someone who has immediate job offers, than looking for weeks and weeks- much less months and months. People who QUIT THEIR JOBS and still find better work for more pay in the same field almost right away.
It seems there is a huge difference "jobs" "Jobs" and "JOBS". What are these economists talking about? Surely, someone who has done one kind of job has the skills to learn other kinds of jobs- not just a lateral move. Maybe the huge surge in productivity is people sweating their asses off to keep their jobs- and do the job of the person the company has refused to hire. They pay the price in exhaustion, insomnia, anxiety, hypertension, diabetes.
We're going to need a revolution here, folks. And, if you are overworked, start slowing down a little- and demand they hire another person. It's cheaper to overwork one employee than distribute the work and pay fairly.