There is a new trend in the employment world today and that is underemployment. Wages have become stagnant, and many Americans are forced to take two or more part time jobs just to make ends meet. Underemployment makes it an increasing struggle just to survive for many as the cost of living continues to go up.
The retail sector has been especially hard hit by the recession, and this sector is one where underemployment is widespread. According to an article in the Huffington Post “Despite a string of mostly dismal jobs reports, the retail sector has managed to add 146,000 jobs over the past year. But many of those jobs don’t come with the hours that workers need in order to get by, nor do they come with the benefits or week-to-week stability of a quality job.” This is often a recipe for disaster, and workers in the retail sector try to add hours just to get by.
The Huffington Post article continued with the statement “The average workweek in retail was 30.3 hours last month, fewer than the 33.5 hours for the average private-sector job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the past year, those figures have not improved at all for either the retail industry or the private sector as a whole, and they’ve even managed to drop in recent months — a fact that doesn’t bode well for workers in need of more work.”
The Retail Action Project advocates for retail industry workers, and group director Carrie Gleason says
“Hours are the new bonus. Many employers don’t look at the cost of declining quality in customer service, or what the unpredictable scheduling does to a worker’s mentality. It’s really a divestment of the workforce through scheduling.”
The Huffington Post article states “Facing stubbornly weak consumer demand, retailers have needed to keep a close watch on the amount of work they’re doling out in the down economy. But labor advocates say the skimping on hours and the scheduling fluctuations have put workers in a financial bind and created logistical headaches for them.” For many consumers this can also start the slide towards insolvency as well.
According to the Huffington Post “When this week might offer 35 daytime hours and next week 22 nighttime hours, it can become difficult to arrange for daycare, to set doctor’s appointments, or, for many people, to take that much-needed second part-time job. The shortage of hours also limits workers’ mobility, as the employees who do enjoy full-time status are careful to hunker down and keep it.”
This trend of underemployment can have an enormous impact on retail workers. A paycheck which does not cover all of your living expenses, a schedule that changes constantly, no benefits including sick and vacation days, and the stress of the situation can all devastate you. Taking a second job may not be possible if you do not have a reliable schedule, and you may find yourself skimping and cutting corners wherever possible. Even these steps may not be sufficient and you may find yourself falling behind and facing mounting debts.
Household budgets have been significantly affected by underemployment and uncertainty. Many companies are no longer investing in the American workforce like they were in the past, and for many consumers this has led to insolvency and personal bankruptcy as the only feasible option.
In the last few years the number of consumers who have filed for bankruptcy protection has been steady because of the economic downturn, and more than 1 million bankruptcies were filed in 2011 in the United States. One of the biggest causes of bankruptcy is underemployment, with unemployment and long term lack of a job also playing a large role. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help eliminate your unsecured debt and give you a fresh financial start. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you avoid the loss of secured property when you are behind on your payments, and this includes your vehicle and home.
Bankruptcy can lift the financial burden you are under, and stop creditor harassment and collection activities. Filing for personal bankruptcy protection can offer assistance if you are underemployed or unemployed and are facing financial problems. The bankruptcy attorneys at Richard West Law can help provide a free debt consolidation consultation to help you find the right answer for your unique debt problems and circumstances. Visit https://www.debtfreeohio.com or call (513)771-8700 or (937)748-1749 to get the answers you want, and the financial relief you are looking for.