Good news, bad news

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The latest employment reports show a slightly better outlook for the economy. But what's different about this wave of new jobs is that they are mostly in the service sector and not so much in manufacturing.

Perhaps more significant is the fact that most of these jobs are part time. This is becoming the new paradigm for employers as they look for ways to cut the costs of running their business. Instead of hiring a full-time employee, an employer can hire two part-time employees. The total costs are much less than one guy working a 40-hour week plus overtime.

Another new protocol is that the employees are not being offered scheduled working hours. These jobs are offered with a "be here when we want you and leave when we don't" attitude. In many ways, the employees have no security, no benefits and no predictable time frame around which they can plan their family lives. It might be a sad but true situation for the future and people are accepting this because it is better than no job at all.

D.D.

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