(Frase 2012) The scourge of overemployment


Frase, Peter. The scourge of overemployment [Internet]. Jacobin. 2012 Mar 5. Available from: http://jacobinmag.com/blog/2012/03/the-scourge-of-overemployment/. Accessed 2012 May 24. Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/67uOOrZDr.

Frase cites Marx’s Capital to point out that the persistent problems of unemployment and underemployment that plague capitalism are matched by an equally persistent problem of overemployment: some workers are often constrained to work long hours, although many would prefer to work shorter hours even if they had to accept a proportional loss of income. Overemployment has a number of causes, but the most significant one is structural: marginal overhead costs are lower for employers who constrain existing workers to work longer hours, rather than hiring additional workers. Structural overemployment is exacerbated by the linkage between employment and health insurance coverage. Also, effective reduction in working hours is a social problem, requiring cooperation among workers to combat pressure from employers.

 

 

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