Unemployed men seek casual jobs from passers-by on a road in Cape Town, South Africa.
Recent developments in the organisation of production have led to the decline of wage employment across much of the world.
An unemployed man collects trash for resale in Diepsloot Johannesburg. Calls are growing for a basic income grant for poor South Africans.
Basic income must be embedded within a broader strategy of economic reform, aimed at increasing the social wage and improving working conditions.
Some workers prefer a hybrid approach, whereby they can alternate between working at home and in the office.
If the best people management practices of the formal economy were to be deployed in the informal economy, new avenues of stimulating economic and life empowerment may be opened.
The federal government’s industrial relations bill will fix a problem that doesn’t exist by making a failed legal argument the law.
We need a holistic response that considers the systemic reasons that force people to lie about working.
More than a dozen Australian universities have been publicly accused of underpaying staff. Some have paid millions in backpay after audits. And a big factor in wage theft is the rise of casualisation.
Unemployment may be down, but 3% of Britain’s working population are on zero hours contracts. This isn’t good for people or business and the government needs to act.
Uber has sparked protests around the world. It is seen as exploiting its own drivers and harming those employed in regulated taxi industries.
Many Uber drivers do their job because the alternatives are worse. It’s an unhappy work choice faced by an increasing number of Australians.
In Victoria in 1992, every government-employed school cleaner was terminated overnight.
Public schools in some states outsourced their cleaning services to private companies as part of a neoliberal experiment starting in the 1990s. This has had a host of impacts, including on students.
Sugar baby websites exemplify a wider trend of casualisation in working relationships.
Sugar daddy capitalism is deformalising relationships and erasing the lines between commercial and non-commercial worlds.
Underemployment and stagnant wages may be strong signs of worker insecurity in the face of relentless cost-cutting.
Most workers are still employees, not casuals or gig workers. So what has changed to increase the insecurity of workers?
Gig platforms don’t have a large share of the labour market yet.
There is very little evidence that overall labour market insecurity is getting any worse. Trends are stable for rates of casualisation, churn, self-employment and multiple job holders.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing, and arts and recreation services are much more precarious for their employees.
Despite relatively stable and low levels of unemployment, workers are increasingly concerned that their jobs are at risk.
The option of “holding out” for a permanent job looks increasingly risky as these opportunities dwindle.
The costs of casual work are now outweighing the slim benefits in wages (and even those are not as much as they used to be).
There was enormous growth in casual employment prior to 1998.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) said that casual employment has not increased in Australia for the past 18 years. Is that right?
With stable jobs in short supply, what does the future hold for Australia’s young workers?
The term “precariat” conveys the idea that the old working class, the proletariat, has transmuted into a new social class where work and life are characterised by precariousness and risk. While the old…