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equipping a new hire of a minimum of $1,500 per frontline employee.
Factoring in that nearly four out of every 10 new employees leave each
year, a grocery store with a net margin of 1.5 3% would have to sell
$60,000 worth of groceries to recover the cost of losing a single employee.
THE CHANGING WORK ETHIC
Mirhaydari (2012) reports that the number of men in the labor force has
been steadily declining from 87.5% in 1945 to 70% in 2011 and writes
“many qualified workers seem to be turning up their noses at jobs they
see as demeaning, or that don't pay what they need, and they are deciding
instead to leave the workforce, trying to strike out on their own or retire”
(p. 1). Looking closely at the jobs data, Miraydari sees an across-the-
board erosion of America's “can-do” spirit, a change that will affect cor-
porate profits, Federal Reserve policy, and the overall shape of the nation's
economy for years to come.
In a provocative article in the Wall Street Journal , Murray (2012) argues
that in March 2008, months before the economic crisis in fall 2008, and at
a time when employment was still fairly robust, a large number of white
working-class men with high-school diplomas or less were unavailable for
work and were considered to be the long-term unemployed who no longer
were actively looking for work. Murray states that the rate of those who
had taken themselves out of the labor pool went from 3% in 1968 to 12%
in 2008 and writes “Twelve percent may not sound like much until you
think that we're talking about men in the prime of life, in their 30's and
40's, when according to hallowed American traditions, every American
man is working or looking for work” (p. C2). Murray notes that among
college-educated white males the rate of long-term unemployed in March
2008 was 3%. He concludes that large numbers of white working-class
males have opted out of traditional American beliefs about work, support-
ing families, marriage, and community values, and points to a marriage rate
that has been steadily falling from 94% of white working-class males and
females studied in the 1960s to 48% in March 2008, and sees no compelling
evidence that marriage rates or the desire to work will improve.
Murray goes on to point out that more than half of the births to
American women under 30 occur outside marriage and that the fastest
growth of children born to single women in the last two decades has
occurred among white women in their 20s, further evidence of major
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