workers strike at grocery store

Tilly on Job Insecurity Even Amid a Labor Crunch

Urban Planning Chair Chris Tilly spoke to the New York Times about “just-in-time scheduling,” a labor practice based on customer demand that leads to great fluctuations in employee work hours. While some part-time workers prefer the flexibility of this model, many say it leaves them with too little income or an erratic schedule delivered on short notice. Nationwide, companies are complaining that they can’t fill jobs. Offering more full-time jobs would create a more stable work force, but many businesses are resistant to doing so, believing that the market will correct itself. Tilly said the increased reliance on part-time workers, particularly in the retail and hospitality industries, began decades ago, in part because of the mass entry of women into the work force. “A light bulb went on one day. ‘If we’re expanding part-time schedules, we don’t have to offer benefits, we can offer a lower wage rate,'” he explained.

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