Did you see the new White House forecast that the national unemployment rate will remain right where it is, above 9% through all of 2012, and above 6% through 2016?
This isn't about government bashing.This I believe is called a stalemate in chess...
'I'm not hiring, I've learned how to increase my profit margin by being lean with minimal human capital'.
'I'm not buying, I have to conserve cash, I'm not employed and no one is hiring'.
The fact is that there is opportunity for those who are skilled, marketable, clean up nicely and understand and do well with the new(ish) 2.0 rules of engagement. The jobs may not be where they were before, others no one wants to do and often times companies are less than effective identifying the right person and/or don't want to pay relocation, or the 'right person' just can't pick up and move their life at the drop of a hat.
Yes, in spite of donut hole job growth in August, on any given month there are still 2m - 3m open jobs posted on job boards.
Some people clearly are milking the system on 'extended vacations', most try in vain but need their skills upgraded to be marketable, even more need to learn to market their skills. Even more than that need to find their intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial selves to get out of the hole.
Sara Horowitz - the founder of Freelancers Union, a nonprofit organization representing the interests and concerns of the independent workforce, graced the business page of the digital version of The Atlantic this past week. She asserts The Freelance Surge is the Industrial Revolution of Our Time (and if you are a regular reader here you know this validates my own views).
We need a new model.
The security once provided by the organized labor union has clearly seen its day. It has become its own political revenue generating machine run by 'big bosses'. It had an important place in our history once upon a time but it isn't a solution for the labor problems of today.
As Sara aptly pointed out, the New Deal of the 1930's is now irrelevant.
The New Deal provided workers with important protections and benefits but those securities were built for a traditional employer-employee relationship. The New Deal has not evolved to include independent workers: no unemployment during lean times; no protections from age, race, and gender discrimination; no enforcement from the Department of Labor when employers don't pay; and the list goes on.
Mother Jones says we have arrived in the era of revived 'speedup' disguised by corporate America speak as 'productivity'. Inherent are anxiety attacks and surges of fear at the thought of resignation - you are afraid to stop being the horse under the yolk because you are conditioned to think there is nowhere to go.
Don't youwant to be a productive member of society?
Images of Lucy dance in your head and cause increased self-medication and escapism contributing to the further erosion of good foundations provided to the next generation who counts on us as role models to screw their lives up. They see their parent(s) less and enjoy less quality of life as pay increases are suspended and the cost of living continues to rise and adults disappoint them.
If you are employed this year on Labor Day, think about what that means, what it brings to your life and what contributions it allows you to make to society. If it's good then celebrate. If it's no good, stop whining and dosomethingto change it.
If you're not employed this Labor Day, think hard about steps you can begin to take to change that too. Remember that repetitive action gains repetitive results. It might mean you need to upgrade your game plan, relent to being more flexible in your requirements or taking a stand to own your career and vowing to never being a chess pawn again.
But do something - don't just channel surf. And tell me what that something is.