At first glance, the numbers seem like great news: the national unemployment rate has fallen to just under four percent. But like a lot of news reports, there’s so much more to that story that actually comes out in talking to people about their jobs rather than just reporting on survey results. Some people are overworked, clocking in at several shifts. They not only have one job; they have three. Others don’t have enough work, or are one step away from disaster when it comes to illness or child care.
“We’re not ok,” says Alissa Quart, author of the new book Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America.” Quart talked to people all over the country to find out what’s really going on, behind the seemingly good numbers. She found the gig economy, which was supposed to give us flexibility, also comes without guarantees or, of course, health care. Maybe the most important lesson Quart gives us is to start a conversation, to get rid of the stigma of talking about money, talking about what’s wrong with work. Write us at email@example.com with your stories about work, or visit our Facebook page this Labor Day weekend.
Alissa Quart spent the last few years traveling around the country, talking with all kinds of people about work. What she found is a lot of people with jobs that look good on paper but who feel — in a word — squeezed.