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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2017

Rahul Suresh Sapkal and K. R. Shyam Sundar

The growing incidence of precarious employment across many sectors is a serious challenge for a developing country like India. Neo-liberal arguments justify precarity as…

Abstract

The growing incidence of precarious employment across many sectors is a serious challenge for a developing country like India. Neo-liberal arguments justify precarity as essential for the development of the free market economy and advocate realigning human resource practices with an ever-changing business environment and labor cost conditions. This chapter seeks to identify the determinants and dynamics surrounding precarity of workers engaged in temporary employment in India. It uses the unique Employment and Unemployment Survey data set published by the National Sample Survey Organisation of Government of India for two time periods 2009–2010 (66th Round) and 2011–2012 (68th Round) to bring out the dimensions of precarity and identify the determinants (both micro- and macro-levels) of participation in temporary employment. We find that precarious employment is most likely to affect the young, women, non-union members, those belonging to minority and socially deprived communities with low land holding and low educational status. Precarious employment is also most pronounced in states where labor-intensive industries are exposed to global import competition and where labor laws are rigid. The chapter concludes by discussing the implications of these findings for the economic and social policies that Indian governments have adopted in recent years.

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Precarious Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-288-8

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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2017

Quan Mai

Over the last few decades, precarious work rose as an important feature of socioeconomic insecurity in contemporary Europe. The following study asks: How do labor market…

Abstract

Over the last few decades, precarious work rose as an important feature of socioeconomic insecurity in contemporary Europe. The following study asks: How do labor market institutions and labor market conditions shape work precarity in Europe? This research captures the elusive concept of precarious work by measuring the degree to which a job (1) is insecure and uncertain, (2) offers poor prospects of career mobility, and (3) puts workers in an economically insecure position with low pay. Building on two theoretical paradigms, the Varieties of Capitalism and the Power Resource Theory, this study derives and tests hypotheses about how macro-level factors shape the variation in the distribution of precarious work in 32 European countries. Combining individual-level data from the 2010 European Working Conditions Survey with country-level data from multiple sources, my findings suggest that work precarity decreases in countries with high percentages of employees in all enterprises receiving continual training, high percentages of all enterprises providing on-the-job training for employees, and high levels of spending on active labor market policies.

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Benjamin Stuart Rodney Farr-Wharton, Kerry Brown, Robyn Keast and Yuliya Shymko

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of organisational business acumen and social network structure on the earnings and labour precarity experienced by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of organisational business acumen and social network structure on the earnings and labour precarity experienced by creative industry workers.

Design/methodology/approach

Results from a survey that collected data from a random sample of 289 creative workers are analysed using structural equation modelling. Mediating effects of social network structure are explored.

Findings

Results support the qualitative findings of Crombie and Hagoort (2010) who claim that organisational business acumen is a significant enabler for creative workers. Further, social network structure has a partial mediating effect in mitigating labour precarity.

Research limitations/implications

This exploratory study is novel in its use of a quantitative approach to understand the relationship between labour and social network dynamics of the creative industries. For this reason, developed scales, while robust in exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, warrant further application and maturity.

Practical implications

The organisational business acumen of creative workers is found to mitigate labour precarity and increase perceived earnings.

Social implications

The results from this study call for policy and management shifts, to focus attention on developing business proficiency of creative workers, in an effort to curb labour precarity in the creative industries, and enhance positive spillovers into other sectors.

Originality/value

The paper fills a gap in knowledge regarding the impact of organisational business acumen and social network structure on the pay and working conditions of people working in a sector that is dominated by self-employed and freelance arrangements.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 53 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2017

Anna Kiersztyn

Currently, a much-debated issue concerns the social and political significance of the emergence of the precariat, a social class consisting of people for whom uncertainty…

Abstract

Currently, a much-debated issue concerns the social and political significance of the emergence of the precariat, a social class consisting of people for whom uncertainty and unpredictability of life circumstances and employment relations make it impossible to plan for the future, forcing them to live on a day-to-day basis (Standing, 2011). However, it remains unclear how the precariat may be defined and operationalized. On the one hand, treating non-standard employment arrangements (fixed-term contracts, temporary agency work, etc.) as a basis for identifying precarious jobs is likely to be misleading, as research has shown non-standard employment to be heterogeneous with respect to working conditions and chances for achieving stabilization. On the other hand, subjective perceptions of security may also be misleading as indicators of precarity, as they are compounded by psychological coping mechanisms and perceptions of reference group status. This analysis attempts to disentangle the complex relationships between non-standard employment and perceived insecurity in order to provide grounds for a more adequate conceptualization and measurement of job precarity. Specifically, I assess the extent to which the relationship between worker contractual status and perceived job, labor market, and employment insecurity is conditional on various characteristics of workers, their jobs, and their households, taking into account the country-level economic and institutional context. The analysis is based on multi-level regression models using data from the 2010 European Working Conditions Survey.

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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2017

Dirk Witteveen

Research on job precarity and job instability have largely neglected the labor market trajectories in which these employment and non-employment situations are experienced…

Abstract

Research on job precarity and job instability have largely neglected the labor market trajectories in which these employment and non-employment situations are experienced. This study addresses the mechanisms of volatility and precarity in observed work histories of labor market entrants using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth of 1997. Several ideal-typical post-education pathways are modeled for respondents entering the labor force between 1997 and 2010, with varying indicators and degrees of precarity. A series of predictive models indicate that women, racial-ethnic minorities, and lower social class labor market entrants are significantly more likely to be exposed to the most precarious early careers. Moreover, leaving the educational system with a completed associate’s, bachelor’s, or post-graduate degree is protective of experiencing the most unstable types of career pattern. While adjusting for these individual-level background and education variables, the findings also reveal a form of “scarring” as regional unemployment level is a significant macro-economic predictor of experiencing a more hostile and turbulent early career. These pathways lead to considerable earnings penalties 5 years after labor market entry.

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2019

Elena Gasiukova and Sergey Korotaev

The purpose of this paper is to show how young educated adults in the state of precarity perceive the lack of stability in their employment, life and prospects, and what…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how young educated adults in the state of precarity perceive the lack of stability in their employment, life and prospects, and what influences their decision making with respect to their career.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research on evidence from ten semi-structured in-depth interviews. The method of analysis is consensual qualitative research.

Findings

Young Russian adults in the state of precarity have little interest in stable employment, believing it imposes inadequately tight constraints in terms of work organisation, as compared to the potentially modest returns in terms of career development and professional self-actualisation. The respondents tend to choose work which corresponds to the rhythm of their lives and preferences. They are willing to sacrifice stability and higher income in the hope of achieving career success and financial prosperity in the future. They do not hope for or expect assistance from the state but feel fully responsible for their own lives. The downside of this optimism is the lack of long-term plans and, hence, the uncertainty of the future.

Originality/value

The authors not only consider the state of precarity as an effect of structural factors such as the state of the labour market, but also aim to show the role of the worker’s agency in creating such a situation. Instead of the conventional view of precarious individuals solely as victims of circumstances, this study suggests to regard them as actors whose experience, goals and aspirations determine career and life choices.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 39 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2017

David Brady and Thomas Biegert

Long considered the classic coordinated market economy featuring employment security and relatively little employment precarity, the German labor market has undergone…

Abstract

Long considered the classic coordinated market economy featuring employment security and relatively little employment precarity, the German labor market has undergone profound changes in recent decades. We assess the evidence for a rise in precarious employment in Germany from 1984 to 2013. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel through the Luxembourg Income Study, we examine low-wage employment, working poverty, and temporary employment. We also analyze changes in the demographics and the education/skill level of the German labor force. Although employment overall has increased, there has been a simultaneous significant increase in earnings and wage inequality. Moreover, there has been a clear increase in all three measures of precarious employment. The analyses reveal that models including a wide variety of independent variables – demographic, education/skill, job/work characteristics, and region – cannot explain the rise of precarious employment. Instead, we propose institutional change is the most plausible explanation. In addition to reunification and major social policy and labor market reforms, we highlight the dramatic decline of unionization among German workers. We conclude that while there are elements of stability to the German coordinated market economy, Germany increasingly exhibits substantial dualization, liberalization, inequality, and precarity.

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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2017

Enobong Hannah Branch and Caroline Hanley

We critique existing literature on the rise of precarious work because of its inattention to the historical organization of work by race and gender. We use intersectional…

Abstract

We critique existing literature on the rise of precarious work because of its inattention to the historical organization of work by race and gender. We use intersectional theory to develop a racial–gender lens on precarious work, asking how do race, gender, and educational attainment shape exposure to insecure work. Historically, Blacks pursued education to mitigate against labor market discrimination with uneven success. Education has traditionally protected against exposure to precarious employment, but this association has weakened in recent years and the persistence of differential returns to human capital suggests that the relationship between education and insecure work may be racially contingent. We assess risk of exposure to precarious nonstandard work for racial and gender groups from 1979 to 2015 using data drawn from the CPS-MORG. We find that education is not equally protective across demographic groups and over time, contributing to inequality in access to stable, standard employment.

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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2017

Abstract

Details

Precarious Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-288-8

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Book part
Publication date: 4 July 2019

Mariana Manriquez

Uber, the virtual service that connects drivers to passenger, presents a novel form of work-organization in which managerial functions are transposed into a virtual…

Abstract

Uber, the virtual service that connects drivers to passenger, presents a novel form of work-organization in which managerial functions are transposed into a virtual platform. This ethnographic study documents how Uber drivers in the city of Monterrey, Mexico navigate and come to make sense of the Uber model of work. Employing the conceptual device of the work-game, this study argues that engagement in the game of “earning coins” coupled the interest of drivers in generating the most-possible income with the interest of management in maintaining a readily available labor pool. Reinforcing this coupling was Uber’s deployment of an entrepreneurial ideology of “being your own boss,” which was especially important given the company’s lack of a physical management structure. However, as Uber takes advantage of the deindustrialization that has gripped Monterey, it attracts drivers exhibiting varied employment trajectories. This in turn creates different modes of playing the work-game and thus generates sharply divergent subjective understandings of the work, whose nature this chapter explores.

Details

Work and Labor in the Digital Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-585-7

Keywords

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