Lauren Weber (WSJ)

Lauren Weber (WSJ) by The Financial Exchange

00:07:49

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Yes I saw the story in the journal gosh I can't remember what it was much in the last week. And it talked about the second class office worker and I thought they're talking about me because I get treated like second class citizen turns out I was wrong. We're joined by Lauren Weber from the Wall Street Journal Loren welcome to the show. So what exactly is he a second class workers who talk about contract workers. For the benefit of our audience that doesn't know what a contract worker is can you tell us what it is. Sure. It basically means anybody who's not a full employee of the company where they're working. I can meet somebody who's an independent contractor freelance American beach. I think in many cases it's been a security guard who work and not opportunities there every day war at the the janitors who were there every day. But they're working for a third party service provider and inaudible employee of the company is work speculation. So so we used to call Temps member or murmur in the old days or be temp agencies and you know you're somebody would show up for work and you call the temp agencies they had needed a and I need to I need secretary reception summit that. What kind of contract worker about it you know that did the janitor and an office building might be cleaning that building for years and years so I think that more than anyone who has kind of an arm's length relationship with the company where they're working. So how prevalent is the how many contract workers is right. In in our company we don't have an air readies an employee was so how prevalent are contract workers it would cut type of company would be hiring contract workers. Ray look you you may think you don't have any that you might want to ask the that Janet air or sometimes the reception at the it may even find contract workers and very unexpected places that. It's very hard to identify how many there are in part because the government and really contracted. With any reliable category but. The most reliable estimate that I've seen is. Something like 16% of American workers. Are working in these kind of alternative work arrangements and that's up from about 10% of its ten years ago. Sore contract workers treated differently. From employees. Well in many believe that they are and that's when my reporting and covered so often you can't keep people who are giving me back Kmart and they're sitting next to each other. That might be somebody that you many companies will have their own night he'd pass and you know. Information technology but and they bring in additional people because they have a big project that there and it should not. And I didn't exactly work sitting right next to each other one has a green badge one had a red badge and a bad he tells other people. Whether or not here you know you're going to be there for the long haul your you know regular direct hire him personally and whether or not you're there for a probably under the short term. Short term to mean anything for the three months to view of two years or longer to some of these contractors are on assignment for very long period. What I heard over and over from contractors and neat arrangement that that. They get treated like they are second class citizens. They're not allowed to ease again they don't get invited the other parties. People look at their pageant kind of look right through them you know after the time in getting to know them they don't get training they don't have mentors that organizations because. They're considered short termer as. And even though it might sound small it and that doesn't like an overall movement that. You are Atlanta and the people who are doing the work on a more regular basis and it really into the either way a lot of people enough confidence. Lauren in in looking at the current job market. You know jolts report we got last month stronger than ever write you a lot of job openings. I would think that a lot of these contract workers are getting recruited to be full time employees so they don't go end up working for the competition. Well we have seen that yet and all the you know they are counted as employed. Even though at the end of generated very low and people are living around a lot that include the contract workforce. Is it that a lot of companies don't wanna hire workers that they really don't have to if they want the flexibility to be able to. Yes fire companies very easily without a lot of legal complications. Of hiring an employee. You know they want to be able to gallop a project to scale it down if it is not working out daylight to these kind of short term arrangement. You know that. It's really in come cases. Workers don't necessarily have a ton of killing without without hair days but apply for a job and not even find out until there made an offer that it's actually short term assignment. You know only eight it's it's inching you say that but maybe. I had a question as it relates to. This the examples you used in new war story. It seemed like they were all older workers you know 596264. So is this a week. That employers are earned. Keeping it they get the talent but they don't get saddled with bad old worker who might have health care issues. That was the pattern I was very noticeable and I didn't they interview many of people who were in the thirties and their bodies in some cases. The story weren't quite as compelling and and and that in the final version of it. But I definitely did noted that not happen possibly the older workers first of all if they were let go accurate and retention. Today to keep their foot in the labor market by get taking whatever were taken off and that means that short term assignment a lot of people who were laid off will reinvent themselves as a quote unquote consulted a quote on quote contractors. And many can't hit it all they can find and part of it is you know maybe companies are reluctant to take god. A worker of the experience they need that they don't want to take that person's health insurance pictures or you know a large part of their premiums. It is you know very rarely will company today we we higher than wait because we wanna reduce their costs but that really athletic talent in many cases. You alluded to the 81 B visa. As creating more contract workers what's the connection. Well it is. I've not had an ecstatic to create more contact corporate but it is patented competition for. People who aren't certain kind of occupation particularly and I he. You know high skilled workers that I did you know spot and with that in mind older workers or do you know how. And writing careers in ninety. And you know art and thriving careers and contractors because there were times in the nineties and nearly 2000 and they really good at their price. And then they'd found increasingly they were getting shut out because. First period 101 compliant workers and going up because debates help companies are trying to rely more on. H one B workers retire foreign workers with you know often very similar to kill the tech people and be paid for our lab and then another issue that would help ever deepening. Income that a lot of these highly skilled contractors can earn working that way. Was that the Catholic they would they were independent contractors being negotiated their rates directly with the client wouldn't have happened in that. Big companies don't wanna be negotiating went thousands and thousands of small businesses an independent contractors they now that's a pretty big contract and taxing agencies. And that means that the contractor himself or herself to individual worker it but it is not out of the negotiation. Out Gloria and I have to get out or running into a break but thank you very much terrific segment and great story from the Wall Street Journal that's lord Webber on the financial exchange radioed that. You've got Barry Armstrong. Financial exchange shall look I mean she'll exchange radio network.
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