Muskegon Chronicle Series on Jobs Market

  • Work in Progress: Under-employment could increase as employers hire temp and part-time jobs, By Stephen Kloosterman, July 16, 2013, MLive: “In the last few months, 32-year-old Amber Patton has worked at minimum wage cleaning hotel rooms – and, when she hurt her ankle and couldn’t work, she sat at home jobless. In an effort to bring some extra cash into her household, she even started doing chores for people she met on, the popular online classifieds site: Everything from housecleaning to car-washing…”
  • Work in Progress: Long-term unemployed risk dropping out of the workforce, losing viability, By Stephen Kloosterman, July 16, 2013, MLive: “The effects of joblessness gradually filter down to the worker who stays unemployed. At 20 weeks, her state unemployment insurance will run out. At 27 weeks, she’ll be counted by the government as long-term unemployed, along with more than 4 million people nationally. With each passing month, she’s considered less employable by recruiters. Her federal unemployment insurance runs out at the 49-week mark…”
  • Work in Progress: Underground economy a ‘desperate’ option when jobs are lacking, By Lynn Moore, July 16, 2013, MLive: “He looks like he could be a college student, riding his bike around town and carrying a backpack with folders containing his papers. Except it was nearly 20 years ago that Damon Minor was a student at Michigan State University. The backpack is tattered with age and the folders hold documents chronicling his search for a job to replace the one he lost back in 2008. The bike is his only transportation, other than Muskegon County’s bus system. Minor asks people he barely knows if they have yard work to do, or heard of any odd jobs he could perform. At 38 years of age, the Muskegon man gets most of his money by mowing his neighbors’ lawn and donating his plasma twice a week. He is part of an underground economy – the ‘shadow’ economy, some call it – the size of which has been estimated as large as 8 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product…”
  • Work in Progress: Low-wage jobs do not have to be dead-end employment as Wesco shows, By Dave Alexander, July 17, 2013, MLive: “When Kristina Broughton landed a job as a retail clerk at the Spring Lake Wesco in 2010, the recent high school graduate was thrilled to go to work for relatively low wages. The 2009 Spring Lake High School graduate had left a Spring Lake Country Club job to join the more than 1,000 associates at the Muskegon-based convenience store/gasoline station leader. Broughton was not looking to support a family on the meager $7.40 minimum wage starting pay at Wesco, but she saw the job as a pathway to what she wanted: A college degree and a professional career…”

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