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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted December 06, 2012 by

Looting of Hostess by Management, Shareholders Cause National Layoffs in November to Increase Rather Than Decrease

Rick Cobb, executive vice president Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Rick Cobb, executive vice president Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Job cuts increased for the third consecutive month in November, as employers announced plans to shed 57,081 workers from their payrolls.  That was up 20 percent from the previous month when announced layoffs totaled 47,724, according to the latest report from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

November cuts were 34 percent higher than the 42,474 job cuts announced by employers in the eleventh month of 2011.  Last month was only the fourth time this year that job cuts exceeded 50,000.  (more…)

Posted September 13, 2012 by

Are Unions Still Necessary Today?

Have you been paying attention to the recent teachers’ strike?

26,000 teachers in Chicago are walking the picket line after the teacher’s union and school district officials failed to reach an agreement on the terms of a new contract.  A deeper question from an employment perspective:  Are unions still needed? (more…)

Posted February 20, 2012 by

Productivity Gains by Employers Bogus As Huge Contingent Workforce Ignored

Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroadsBy Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler

A very well-written article in MIT’s Technology Review, “Tectonic Shifts in Employment’, contends that Information Technology is reducing the need for certain jobs faster than new ones are being created. Noting that, “6.3 million fewer Americans have jobs than was true at the end of 2007. And yet the country’s economic output is higher today than it was before the financial crisis.”

The MIT article admits several elements are in play but claims that technological obsolescence is the predominant factor. A similar case was made in Bloomberg Businessweek, Did That Robot Take My Job? at the beginning of the year. There’s no question that technology destroys jobs (and creates new ones) but is the gap as wide as these articles suggest?

We’re not sure.

We think the use of contingent workers, for example, has increased to astounding levels and the accounting of this headcount is almost non-existent within companies when it comes to calculating productivity from F/T. As a result, firms show productivity spikes when in fact they may be using as much or more labor to accomplish their goals.

We’re also concerned about unmeasured anecdotal evidence surfacing where well-known large companies consciously ratchet their performance technology tools to push individual workers (in the service/exempt classification) to unsustainable levels i.e. burning them out by forcing them to work longer hours to meet quotas etc. (And no, we are not talking about some other country here perhaps someone has been adopting a few developing country techniques here.) These onerous practices are similar to what we used to study in grad school as abuses from the 2nd industrial revolution, 1880-1920, that led to the rise of unions.

It makes us think some of the productivity gains we report might just be sleight of hand.

– Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler work full time consulting, educating and discovering how talent and opportunity connect through emerging technology. They can be reached via email at mmc@careerxroads.com, phone at 732-821-6652, or on-line at http://www.careerxroads.com.