Jobs and Changing Workplaces(직업과 변화하는 직장)
Jobs are important, but the nature of work is changing for the worse. World Development Report 2013: Jobs (World Bank, Oct 2012, 420p) stresses that jobs are the drivers of development, shows that the best policy responses vary across countries, and explores the notion of the "good job" in that some jobs do more for economic and social development than others.
Good Jobs America: Making Work Better for Everyone by Paul Osterman of MIT and Beth Shulman of DEMOS (Russell Sage Foundation, Sept 2011, 200p) argues that there are not enough jobs to go around, far too many jobs fall below the standard of "decent work," and a quarter of working adults are trapped in jobs that do not provide living wages or much hope of upward mobility; examples are provided, however, of how bad jobs can be made into good ones.
Good Jobs, Bad Jobs: The Rise of Polarized and Precarious Systems in the United States, 1970 to 2000s by Arne L. Kallenberg of the University of North Carolina (Russell Sage Foundation, 2011, 312p) shows the rise of "precarious employment" since the 1970s due to government deregulation, global competition, and weakened worker protections; the growth of low-wage precarious jobs with few benefits and no long-term security will continue in the absence of long-term counter-strategies.
The Fissured Workplace: Why Work Became So Bad for So Many and What Can Be Done to Improve It by David Weil of Boston University (Harvard University Press, Feb 2014, 392p) offers the novel interpretation that large corporations have shed their role as direct employers, in favor of outsourcing work to small companies that compete fiercely with one another; the result has been declining wages, eroding benefits, inadequate health and safety conditions, and ever-widening income inequality.
Handbook of Unethical Work Behavior: Implications for Individual Well-Being edited by Robert A. Giacalone of Temple University and Mark D. Promislo of Rider University (M.E. Sharpe, 2013, 360p) covers discrimination, ostracism, abuse, bullying, aggression, violence, revenge, fraud, corruption, and the long-term costs of short-term thinking. (No indication is given in the publisher's catalog as to whether these behaviors are increasing, but it would seem likely.)
The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has issued two very interesting and disturbing reports on the relationship of disability and of mental health to work. Sickness, Disability, and Work: Breaking the Barriers. A Synthesis of Findings Across OECD Countries (OECD, Oct 2010, 105p) describes a "social and economic tragedy common to nearly all OECD countries," where too many workers leave the labor market permanently due to health problems or disability, and too few people with reduced work capacity remain in employment. Despite improvement of average health status in OECD countries, large numbers of working-age people are leaving the workforce to rely on long-term sickness and disability benefits. A series of major reforms are needed to promote better incentives for workers, employers, doctors, and service providers to tighten inflows and raise outflows from disability benefits, and encourage job retention and new hiring of people with health problems.
Sick on the Job? Myths and Realities about Mental Health and Work (OECD, Jan 2012, 206p) notes that mental illness is responsible for a "very significant loss of potential labor supply, high rates of unemployment, and a high incidence of sickness, absence, and reduced productivity at work."
A conservative estimate from the ILO puts the costs of mental ill-health in the EU at 3-4% of GDP. "Today, between one-third and one-half of all new disability benefit claims are for reasons of mental ill-health, and among young adults that proportion goes up to over 70%." Moreover, there is an "urgent" need to address mental health problems in the workplace, since many jobs can cause strain or exacerbate mental illness. The OECD calls for more prevention and early intervention, shifting focus away from severe to common mental disorders and sub-threshold conditions, and greater focus on those who are employed rather than inactive.
(로히트 탈와르, 박세훈 / 미래학자)