"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.



Books and the related topic of Transition.

Recession Hammers Low-Wage Workers, but Glances Off the Affluent

A new report on the impact of unemployment and underemployment during the Great Recession suggests that higher-paid workers have enjoyed practically full employment during the worst economic conditions in 80 years, while the lowest-paid workers have suffered through an unemployment rate above 30%.

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 employment.
Source: www.dailyfinance.com/story/recession-hammers-low-wage-workers-but-glances-off-the-affluent/19354990/?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl9|link5|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailyfinance.com%2Fstory%2Frecession-hammers-low-wage-workers-but-glances-off-the-affluent%2F19354990%2F

Attention Workaholics: Early Retirement, Early Grave?

Early retirement is supposed to give you extra golden years to enjoy. But could remaining on the job help you live longer?
Source: www.webmd.com/content/Article/114/111088.htm

Trip Down Social Ladder Tougher on Men

A new British study shows men who were downwardly mobile since birth were more than three times as likely to suffer from depression by age 50 than women who were downwardly mobile. Men who had fallen in social status were also about four times more likely to be depressed as men whose social class remained the same.

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.
Source: my.webmd.com/content/article/111/110181.htm

Fathers Juggle Work, Kids, and Stress, Too!

Mothers aren't the only ones that are juggling work and kids. This article talks about the stress that fathers are experiencing today.
Source: www.careerjournal.com/myc/workfamily/20050506-stout.html?myc_whatsnew

HHS Awards 2.5 Million Dollars To Five States To Enable More Disabled Persons To Work

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced $2.5 million in grants to five states to help people with disabilities in those states to become and stay competitively employed. Each of the states -- Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina -- will receive $500,000 to support efforts to increase services and supports to workers, as well as help others return to work without the fear of losing health coverage.
Source: www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/333/25491/361563.html

Luck is What You Make of Chance Events

What do you want to be when you grow up? Ideally, you decided at a young age, set long-term goals, and devoted yourself to a zealous pursuit of the perfect job, lifestyle, and mate, right?
Source: www.impactpublishers.com/pressrel.html

Dangerous Jobs

The mortality rate among timber cutters is 26 times that of the average American worker. Fishers, pilots and structural metal workers are the number two, three and four on the list. Find out the other six jobs the Bureau of Labor Statistics touts as the most dangerous jobs. Not surprisingly, some of them pay very well.

Ambulance Crash-Related Injuries Among Emergency Medical Services Workers

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel on board ambulances need more practical restraint systems for the patient compartments.
Source: www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/333/25491/361833.html

Cost Of The Common Cold

Chances are you or someone you know is battling with a nasty cold right now. The cold bug is definitely biting its way into work places and schools all across the country, forcing millions of people to stay home. Read the story and comments from a Harvard physician.
Source: University of Michigan Health System, www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/333/25491/361583.html

Chronic Workplace Condition Reveals Independent T Cell Group

The differentiation of naive T cells into memory T cells is a crucial step in the evolution of an immune response. Optimal activation requires 2 steps: (i) T cell receptor binding to the foreign antigen; and (ii) engagement of the CD28 molecule on the T cell with it's ligands on the antigen presenting cell - a process known as costimulation. In contrast with naïve T cells, memory T cells can be activated after engagement of the T cell receptor, without CD28-mediated costimulation.

Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation, www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/EMIHC274/333/25491/368900.html  

Helping Minorities Gain Technology Skills

Microsoft and other businesses are helping minorities gain the skills they need to enter the technology workplace.
Source: seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/134553233_techteens12.html

Welcome to the Working World

Prepare yourself (pre-first day) for what it means to have a job, whether it’s at McD’s, Macy’s, or your dad’s office. Yes, believe it or not, there is more to employment than the dreaded tag lines: “Would you like fries with that?” “Can I interest you in a matching sweater?” or “Hold, please.” Source: www.teenwire.com/infocus/2002/if_20020212p148.asp

Collecting Items for Homeless Men

There's a NCFM men's group in the Dallas/Ft Worth area that initiated a holiday campaign, sponsored by the Presbyterian Night Shelter in Fort Worth. The shelter hands out bags with a want list from homeless men who visit the shelter. The men's group goes around collecting these items: socks, stocking caps, gloves, deodorant, etc. Little things to us, but the kinds of items that could make a HUGE difference to a homeless man, especially in the winter! Other men can participate by making a cash donation. Then, the men's group goes out and buys the items and fills the bags. Wouldn't this be a great idea to start in your community with a local shelter, food bank, or church program? Men helping men who aren't asking for a hand but could sure use one.

Information source: Transitions, 1-2/02

Workaholic Wives and Their Sick Husbands

Husbands, beware: Your wife's job may be dangerous to your health. At least that's one way to interpret the results of a new study by University of Chicago sociologist Ross Stolzenberg. He found that the husbands of women who worked more than 40 hours a week were significantly less healthy than other married men. At the same time, his research showed that long hours at work by husbands had no harmful effect on the health of their wives, employed or not.

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, www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A11583-2001Dec7?language=

In a Rut or a Groove?

U.S. workers age 45-54 moved from job to job at a faster clip last year than their counterparts did in 1983. But, while men's job-hopping accelerated, women's actually slowed. At the time of last year's survey, the median job stint among men in this group was 9.5 years, down from 12.8 in 1983. Among women, the figure was 7.3 years, up from 6.3. Next Generation. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Fewer Men Going Into Teaching

But what about the teachers? Here's an interesting report from The Australian newspaper about what's going on on the other side of the desk for male teachers. Source: email.emailit.com.au/kct1231101332.5547.0.21066

Fear of Layoffs Raises Men's Blood Pressure

Work-related worries and other psychological stressors can contribute to high blood pressure, but job strain may be particularly hard on men, researchers report.

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 2001;161:1341-1346. news.excite.com/news/r/010529/11/health-layoffs

Woman Complains of 50 Hour Work Week

Have you ever seen a major newspaper devote the majority of Page 1 of the Sunday Business section to a white collar man complaining about working too many hours. Especially one who hasn't been out of law school for much more than a year and is pulling down over 6 figures. Well, that's the coverage the Denver Post gave three second-year associate women 25-27 and one first-year male associate 31. I almost shed a tear for the poor things. But, then I though of all the others in law, cab drivers, doctors, ad execs, truck drivers, firemen, etc. who would welcome such a short week. And, all of the (mostly) men who are on call 24 hours a day to handle what we can't or don't want to. It's not uncommon for many white collar industries to bleed the life out of people to get as much as they can as quick as they can. When 1/3 of men over 55 are unemployable because they haven't been able to find work and their unemployment payments have run out.)  When the average CEO works 59 hours a week. When men are still seen as having primary responsibility for the financial needs of the family, no matter how many jobs or hours it takes. I decided I didn't want to waste the Kleenex and turned the page. Hopefully, this will help equal out some of the 79 cent disparage between what male doctors with years of education and experience make versus female receptionists with neither. Hopefully, other women who want to narrow this gap will start doing the dangerous and risky jobs that take men's lives but pay well. (See related story from London below.)

Long Hours Get the Boot

The Independent from London also had a story about Long Hours. It took a bit of a different twist and was based on what a number of companies in Europe are doing to insure that their employees have a work-life balanced week in an effort to curb workaholics. Some corporations are launching an attack on presenteeism and a complete overhaul of its working practices. They haven't gone as far as Armand Hammer, who was notorious for firing employees if they were found in the office after hours. But they have warned their staffs that consistent overtime will now be discouraged. Of course, Britain has long been known for a country of workaholics. In a 1999 Quality of Work/Life survey, it found that 10% of British managers work more than 61 hours a week. Across the channel in France, many of their companies are moving to a four-day week and all workers in Holland now have the chance to renegotiate full-time jobs on a part-time basis.

Rise and Fall of the Traditional Breadwinner

In a week that could be described as a requiem for the traditional male breadwinner - the man who invests his all in a lifetime job, frequently at the price of his own health, to bring a regular wage home to the wife and children. First came the announcement that despite the Phoenix deal to buy Rover from BMW, 1,000 jobs would be lost. Then, three days later, 8,000 Ford workers at Dagenham received details of the voluntary redundancy package on offer - at least 2,000 jobs are to go at the plant, ending seven decades of car production. Many of these men were once clear about their role as breadwinner. A survey of 27 countries published last week indicated that only 36% of Britons enjoy their job (Denmark was on top with 62%, with the U.S. somewhere in between). Add to this that 200 jobs are lost a day and the length of time spent commuting, which is increasing, allows little leeway for family life. In 1997 a MORI poll of full-time workers revealed that more than half were concerned over the amount of time stolen from their families by work - a concern expressed by more men than women. Last month, Mintel published a paper for which more than 1,700 men and women were interviewed. Over a quarter of fathers with children under five said they would like to work fewer hours, even if it meant a pay cut, and reduced career prospects. And, where previously men had said that work was an important source of companionship, now only one in four claimed this to be the case. Is the traditional breadwinner transforming into the advocate of the family-friendly workplace which allows dad to take on his share of child rearing, chickenpox and sports days? And encourages, and pays women to increase their responsibility as bread winners. Let's hope so!

Confessions of a Truck Driver

It's hot, dry and dusty on a spring day at the Port of Los Angeles, but driver Hugo Salcedo is getting his feet wet as he hoses down the hood of his 80,000 lb truck.

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.
Source: jobs.aol.com/article/_a/confessions-of-a-truck-driver/20080513092309990001?ncid=AOLCOMMjobsDYNLprim0001


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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

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