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The diversity of labor work and employment is one of the key policy issues for the new millennium. The study of the labor market across the past hundred years reveals enormous progress and also that history repeats itself and has come full circle in some ways. Progress has been made in the rewards of labor -- wages, benefits, and increased leisure through shorter hours, vacation time, sick leave, and earlier retirement. Labor has been granted added security on the job and more safety nets when unemployed, ill, and old. Progress in the labor market has interacted with societal changes. Women's increased participation in the paid labor force is the most significant. The virtual elimination of child and full-time juvenile labor is another. Two of the most pressing economic issues of our day demonstrate that history repeats itself. Labor productivity has been lagging since the 1970s. It was equally sluggish at other junctures in American history, but the present has unique features. The current slowdown in the United States has been accompanied by a widening in the wage structure. Rising inequality is a far more serious problem because of the coincidence. The wage structure was as wide in 1940 as today but there is, to date, no hard evidence when it began its upward trend. The wage structure has, therefore, come full circle to what it was more than a half century ago. Union strength has also come full circle to that at the turn of this century.
“The gaps in our knowledge are bridged by the
new findings presented in this report.”
This Report assesses the implications for policy of the most up- to-date findings from a nationally representative survey of changes in employees working lives and illuminates in particular the contrasting experiences of men and women, older and younger workers and those employed in smaller rather than large organizations .
The whole experience of Labor Market and Diversity in the service learning has changed me quite a bit. My outlook on life has certainly shifted in a very positive way. I think that I’ll leave this semester of service-learning a bit more aware, a bit more able to relate some of the texts in class to my own experience, and glad to be able to continue my service and collect more experiences in the future. This Service-Learning Interdisciplinary Seminar brings together community service, reflection and course work.