90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Stuck In Part-Time

A soaring number of Americans are stuck with part-time jobs. It’s keeping costs down for companies, but it’s crippling the Middle Class. We’ll dig in.

Time Card. (By TheGoogly/Flickr)

Time Card. (By TheGoogly/Flickr)

For millions of Americans, part-time work has become the new normal.  Some like it.  College students, maybe.  Some seniors, maybe.  Maybe others.  But an awful lot of part-time workers devoutly wish for full-time jobs – and can’t get them.

Part-time work is all over now. But of course it doesn’t pay like full-time.  It comes with far fewer, if any, benefits.  And part-time is harder than it used to be.  No regular schedule.  Hours all over the map.  Constantly changing.  And take it or leave it.  At poverty wages.

This hour, On Point:  we’re staring at today’s reality of part-time work.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Steven Greenhouse, labor and workplace reporter for the New York Times. You can find his latest piece on part-time work here.

Susan Lambert, associate professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. You can find a recent op-ed on changes in the workplace here.

Carrie Gleason, executive director of the Retail Action Project.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal “This has created an army of “underutilized labor.” America’s narrow unemployment rate is 7.9%, but it is 14.6% when accounting for involuntary part-time workers. The number of Americans working full time has declined by 5.9 million since September 2007, while the number working part time has jumped by 2.6 million.”

New York Times “While there have always been part-time workers, especially at restaurants and retailers, employers today rely on them far more than before as they seek to cut costs and align staffing to customer traffic. This trend has frustrated millions of Americans who want to work full-time, reducing their pay and benefits.”

Huffington Post “Two dozen workers at a Walmart-contracted warehouse in Southern California walked off the job Wednesday morning, calling on the companies that benefit from their work to improve conditions at the facility and to end what workers describe as retaliation for speaking out.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 6, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves as he speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Since Republicans took control of Congress two months ago, an elaborate tug of war has broken out between GOP lawmakers and Obama over who calls the shots on major issues for the next two years. (AP)

Netanyahu’s speech. Hillary Clinton’s email. Obamacare back at the high court. A stunning start to the Boston Marathon bombing trial. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Mar 6, 2015
"The Sellout" is novelist Paul Beatty's new book. (Courtesy Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)

Author Paul Beatty’s novel “The Sellout” is a satirical look at race relations in America. He joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 5, 2015
One in four women use psychiatric medication. The reasons for the medication aren't always so clear. (Flickr)

Are American women being prescribed psychiatric drugs – anti-depressants, anti-psychotics — for normal emotions? We’ll hear out one psychiatrist’s bold claim.

 
Mar 5, 2015
A car passes a memorial for Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson last summer, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Ferguson. A Justice Department investigation found sweeping patterns of racial bias within the Ferguson police department, with officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force, issuing petty citations and making baseless traffic stops, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the report.  (AP)

The big Justice Department report finds a pattern of racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department. Now what? We’re back in Ferguson – and beyond — for answers.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

More »
Comment
 
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment