"If man did not work...these worlds would perish." Bhagavad-Gita
Menstuff® has compiled information on the issue of work. The
photos above are from left to right by Robert Mottar, Homer Page,
Homer Page, Wayne Miller, Allan Grant, Waleter Sanders, Steinheimer,
August Sander and Arthur Lavine from The
Family of Man.
and the related topic of Transition.
Recession Hammers Low-Wage Workers, but
Glances Off the Affluent
The dismal findings are contained in a study by Andrew Sum, Ishwar Khatiwada and Sheila Palma of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, which details the unemployment and underemployment rates of workers in 10 different income categories during the period of October to December 2009.
The report says those in the lowest income group (making $12,499 or less) and the second-lowest group (making $12,500 to $20,000) account for 30.8% and 19.1%, respectively, of those unemployed during the fourth quarter of 2009. They also accounted for 20.7 and 17.2% of those who were underemployed. By contrast, those making $100,000 to $149,000 or $150,000 or more accounted for 4% and 3.2% of the unemployed, respectively, and 2.5% and 1.6%, respectively. of the underemployed.
The middle class was also hit hard during the recession, but those with the highest incomes weren't affected as seriously.
"Radically Different Labor Markets"
"At the end of calendar year 2009, as the national economy was recovering from the recession of 2007-2017, workers in different segments of the income distribution clearly found themselves in radically different labor market conditions," says the report. "A true labor market depression faced those in the bottom two deciles of the income distribution, a deep labor market recession prevailed among those in the middle of the distribution, and close to a full employment environment prevailed at the top. There was no labor market recession for America's affluent."
New York Times columnist Bob Herbert wrote about the report on Tuesday, pointing out how the pain of this recession has affected those who were in the most pain before it started. "Those in the lower income groups are in a much, much deeper hole than the general commentary on the recession would lead people to believe," he wrote.
The Northeastern study also says employed workers in the
lower-income groups are 13 times more likely to be underemployed than
are employed workers in the top income categories. Members of
lower-income groups were also most likely to have either withdrawn
from the active labor pool or to have chosen not to enter the
depressed labor market in the fourth quarter of 2009 to seek paid
Early Retirement, Early Grave?
Trip Down Social Ladder Tougher on
Overall, the study showed that more women were depressed and downwardly mobile from birth to midlife than men.
But researchers say the findings suggest that women's risk of
depression is tied to social class at birth, while men's risk of
depression is more closely linked to social status at midlife.
Fathers Juggle Work, Kids, and Stress,
HHS Awards 2.5 Million Dollars To
Five States To Enable More Disabled Persons To Work
Luck is What You Make of Chance
Ambulance Crash-Related Injuries
Among Emergency Medical Services Workers
Cost Of The Common Cold
Chronic Workplace Condition Reveals
Independent T Cell Group
Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation,
Helping Minorities Gain Technology
Welcome to the Working World
Collecting Items for Homeless Men
Information source: Transitions,
Workaholic Wives and Their Sick
But there's another equally provocative way to interpret his findings - - perhaps best captured, Stolzenberg said, in what he called the "wonderfully amusing title" of a 1970s-era journal article, "Warning: The Male Sex Role May be Dangerous to Your Health."
Stolzenberg's analysis, published recently in the American Journal of Sociology, is based on survey data collected in 1986 from 2,867 adults, including their spouses, as part of the Americans' Changing Lives survey conducted by the University of Michigan. Study participants were interviewed again three years later.
In both surveys, participants were asked to assess their overall health on a scale that ranged from "excellent" to "poor." (Researchers have consistently found that these kinds of general self-ratings are more accurate than a doctor's evaluation, Stolzenberg noted.) The surveys also solicited information about employment, hours worked and other data.
Stolzenberg confirmed what researchers already know: Marriage is healthy. Both married men and married women were significantly more likely to report that they were in good health than single people, if other important factors were held constant.
Similarly, working long hours had no perceptible effect on the health of either men or women, he found. The additional time on the job actually seemed to boost the well-being of most men.
The surprise came when he examined the effect of a wife's employment on her husband. "Fewer than 40 hours of work per week by wives has no effect on husbands' health, but more than 40 hours has substantial negative effect," he reported.
Just how large is "substantial"? It depends on how healthy the husband is to start with. If he reports that his health is between "good" and "very good," and his wife works 40 hours or less per week, then he has a 50 percent chance of reporting that his health is "very good" or better three years later. If his wife works more than 40 hours per week, then that probability drops to 36 percent.
Why might a workaholic wife pose a health risk for a husband? Stolzenberg says a big reason is that husbands and wives generally still have different roles in a marriage -- and maintaining the family's health largely remains women's work.
"Women are trained from childhood to promote health in their families, to manage health, be aware of health symptoms. They also are the ones who are more likely to organize social contact, and pleasant social contact tends to promote good health because it is one of the best stress relievers we know," he contends.
Wives who work long hours, he found, had less time to do things like remind their husbands to eat nutritious meals or take medication, and otherwise manage their hubbies' health.
So is the hidden message that men, on average, can't take care of themselves? Apparently many can't, Stolzenberg said -- or at least not as well as when they have the gentle prodding (some might call it nagging) of their spouses.
An earlier version of his study, circulated more than a year ago, sparked controversy and a brief flurry of publicity after Stolzenberg summarized it at academic workshops. Some observers concluded that his findings argue strongly for a return to traditional sex roles. (One colleague, in a pre-Sept. 11 quip, asked, "So the Taliban are right?")
Others said his findings demonstrated how traditional sex roles have harmed men.
"I don't think it's either one," he said. "There is no reason why things should or have to be organized this way. . . . It would be better if everyone paid more attention to their own health and well-being."
Source: By Richard Morin, Washington Post,
In a Rut or a Groove?
Fewer Men Going Into Teaching
Fear of Layoffs Raises Men's Blood
In a new study, researchers found that besides the traditional risk factors for high blood pressure--such as smoking, inactivity and being overweight--several psychological factors stood out among the 27% of participants who developed high blood pressure over a two decade period.
For men, unemployment, job insecurity and feelings of inadequacy in their job performance were all linked to at least a 50% greater risk of high blood pressure.
Having a "low-status" job was the only work-related factor linked to high blood pressure among women. The women were more likely to be affected by relationship-related feelings such as loneliness--but much of this association, according to the researchers, was explained by the poorer health habits of these women. The findings are published in the May 28, 2001 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
The new research suggests that psychological factors affect men and women differently, according to Dr. Susan Levenstein of the Human Population Laboratory in Berkeley, California, and colleagues.
The sex differences in this study may be due to differences in the way men's and women's cardiovascular systems respond to stress, Levenstein's team speculates.
"It may also be conjectured," they add, "that the threat or reality of unemployment could be particularly devastating for men, for psychological and/or practical reasons."
The researchers note that other studies have hinted that men may be more sensitive to "work-related threats to their autonomy," and women to strains in relationships with family and friends.
In the study, the researchers examined 20 years of health and lifestyle data gathered on nearly 2,400 men and women in one California county.
Source: Archives of Internal Medicine
Woman Complains of 50 Hour Work
Long Hours Get the Boot
Rise and Fall of the Traditional Breadwinner
Confessions of a Truck Driver
It's routine maintenance and just one of the tasks Salcedo, 37, has done every week of the seven years he's been driving. Being a truck driver may seem an unforgiving career to some, but to Salcedo it gives him the freedom of the road and a lifetime of travel.
Best time is baseball season, he says. Though today he sports a USC Trojans hat, the profession that takes him across 48 states allows him to catch the Red Sox in Boston, the Marlins in Miami and his hometown Dodgers in Los Angeles.
Over the course of several months his job will take him from Long Beach to Kentucky, Kentucky to New York, New York to Florida, Florida all the way across the country to Hayward, California. Jealous yet? I was when he told me the other reason he finds trucking a rewarding profession: Money. He gets $1.55 for every mile he drives, even after the fuel surcharge. You do the math, he says. That adds up pretty lucratively when you consider he can drive 4-5,000 miles in an average week, though he says a trucker's returns can be slim once they've paid between $60,000 and $120,000 for a new big rig.
I wonder if he suffers from loneliness on the road, but he says no. He has Internet and TV in his cab to keep him company. The most serious issue he faces on a daily basis is safety.
No. 1 you have to be safe, period, he says. For you and everyone around you. With an 80,000 lb truck, you gonna hit somebody you're gonna kill somebody.
It's something you're supposed to do whether you drive a car or big rig, to be safe on the road, to have the knowledge of the road, the highways and how to control a truck in an emergency situation.
As a profession, truckers are perhaps most at mercy of weather conditions and occasionally it is a tough, but vital, choice as to whether to bed down for the night, or carefully navigate a serious storm.
You gotta make changes, slow down, or don't drive at all. It's a choice you make, during the wintertime, you either gotta stop and put chains on or keep going, or say, do I stop and wait til it's over?
Sometimes, the choices Salcedo makes can put him in danger. One
time, late at night, he found himself head-on with a car
coming the opposite director, Salcedo chose to take evasive action
and ended up in a ditch. He rolled, his truck traveled 150
feet on its side. Fortunately he escaped injury but his freight
he usually carries paper in bulk for Kimberly Clarke or
Wal-Mart was ruined after it scattered along the highway.
The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money. - Anonymous
A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn't feel like it. -- Alistair Cooke 1908 - NA