Better the dole than a dud job

Now I guess many of us think we could be Managing Director of BHP-Billiton, but most of us accept that we might have to start at the bottom and work our way up.

But according to Stephen Long, ABC’s Economics Correspondent, talking about the government’s ‘tough’ welfare to work measures:

But the other side is there is an assumption in all the discussion around this from the Government and just about everybody that somehow this is a universally good thing, that any job is better than no job and we will be giving these people the dignity of work, the dignity of labour.

Now there is a whole body of medical research and other research that actually says that pushing people into low wage, insecure jobs that can often be quite oppressive and give people little control can actually undermine their health and well being.

Now I’m not absolutely sure what body of medical and other research Long is referring to, but here’s a tip – the main findings of the research are as follows:

  • Unemployment has an unambiguously negative effect on health, particularly mental health;
  • The unemployed have lower levels of life satisfaction than those with a job (check out the HILDA results, Stephen);
  • A fair proportion (at least 50 per cent) who have a low paid job in period one have a better job in periods 2, 3, 4, etc.  (again check out HILDA) – that is, low paid jobs are not necessarily ‘dead end’.

The research to which Long may be referring compares those in jobs with considerable control and autonomy with those in jobs without those characteristics and, not surprisingly, people feel better about the former.  Having said this, the HILDA survey suggests that long hours – which are a correlate of more senior jobs – does not lead to higher life satisfaction overall.  So the jobs may provide personal control but come at the cost of long hours.

The government is on the right track in emphasising the dignity of work.

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49 Responses to Better the dole than a dud job

  1. thefrollickingmole

    That would be research quoted in the “Guardian” newspaper a month or 2 back..

    Extremly idiological research designed to reach a goal was my reading on the report.

    Its considerably easier to land another job when you already have one.. mine went from handyman,gardener,kitchenhand,breakfast cook to paramedic with the same company..

    My chances of getting to the last position without the first…?

  2. daddy dave

    low paid jobs are not necessarily ‘dead end’.

    Very true.
    And many jobs that appear to be ‘dead ends’ can go somewhere for people who are reliable and competent. Retail’s a good example, and there are others.

  3. Jc

    So the ABC economics correspondent is basically peddling propaganda instead of proper research to peddle an idealogical positions closer to the greens.

    I’m shocked.

  4. Biota

    The government is on the right track in emphasising the dignity of work.

    Absolutely IMO. I have been self supporting since I was 14 and never even considered being on the dole- that was for losers. I’ve done many odious jobs over the years but am now a pretty well-paid professional.

    I think that providing realistic aspirational pathways is important so that as many as possible can see what might be dead end jobs as a means to an end.

  5. thefrollickingmole

    Hers the guardian link to the research and the story.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/17/jobs-work-coalition-quality-of-life?INTCMP=SRCH

    Apparently its Australian research as well… ANUs stuff.

    From the abstract. (subscription needed for the full thing)
    Results Overall, unemployed respondents had poorer mental health than those who were employed. However the mental health of those who were unemployed was comparable or superior to those in jobs of the poorest psychosocial quality. This pattern was evident in prospective models: those in the poorest quality jobs showed greater decline in mental health than those who were unemployed (B = 3.03, p<0.05). The health benefits of becoming employed were dependent on the quality of the job. Moving from unemployment into a high quality job led to improved mental health (mean change score of +3.3), however the transition from unemployment to a poor quality job was more detrimental to mental health than remaining unemployed (?5.6 vs ?1.0).

  6. .

    Low paying jobs are entry level – having a job is the greatest predictor to getting another one.

    Making work, however, destroys jobs.

  7. Peter Patton

    Ah yes, my old mate, Stephen Long. Still a commie after all these years.

  8. “Now there is a whole body of medical research and other research that actually says that pushing people into low wage, insecure jobs that can often be quite oppressive and give people little control can actually undermine their health and well being.”
    This sums up the ineptitude and laziness of ‘our ABC’ correspondents. They should be paid only the 4 cents a day that it costs all Australia’s population to run that dreadful broadcaster.
    How about giving us a look at this ‘whole body of evidence’, before you go sprouting off such drivel?
    Most of us had to start the hard way. There is no instant success. Many have to have a few goes at different jobs to find the one that best suits them.
    Yes! there is dignity in being able to work.

  9. daddy dave

    There is no instant success.

    Amen.

  10. Peter Whiteford

    I am a strong supporter of increasing employment and the activation requirements in the benefit system that support it. but as thefrollickingmole points out it is very recent Australian research that Stephen Long was accurately quoting.

  11. Judith Sloan

    I’m not sure one article constitutes a whole body of medical research and other research, Peter. I’m happy for Long to quote one article and make it clear that is what he is doing. His comments are a big stretch.

  12. Peter Patton

    Stephen was the top student in Political Economy at U.Syd in his day. For 3 years he came equal top with his girlfriend, as they both chanted at the end of every essay and exam, something like “until they have a feminist revolution, which replaces patriarchal labour exploitation, and replace it with aborigines and wymyn and stuff, then we’ll all be rooned”.

    Oh, I shouldn’t go on, but the mass vomiting that would ensue the moment I named her, surely makes it worth it. 🙂

  13. Peter Patton

    Judith, he’s actually an old friend of mine. I like him. But I cannot let social affections get int he way of my objective and independent commie-bashing. 🙂

  14. JC

    Peter Whiteford confuses the whole issue, not that he is any different to a lot of others.

    Governments role in this sort of stuff ought to be minimum. People need to get a job and pay for themselves instead of expecting others to.

    If people have a mental illness or some such it’s not the job of the federal government to be dealing with that sort of stuff. These sufferers can always go to see trained professionals after working hours as most professionals offer flexible service times.

    All this stuff is being confused by busy bodies.

  15. Peter Whiteford

    Judith

    Butterworth uses HILDA to draw these conclusions.

  16. JC

    From the guardian link…

    Take call centres. Being told to follow a digital pre-script and having to ask to go to the toilet is a qualitatively different experience than being able to use your own initiative. As expected, one might think. But the significance is in the political implications.

    That isn’t research, but ideological clap trap made up to appear like research.

    Plenty of people have high paying jobs where they tell others usually the boss they are need to go to the loo. Traders do that for example asking the head trader to watch over risk positions. Big deal.

    I’m sure there are good and bad call centres, but so what? Job inflexibility doesn’t exactly allow people to move around as easily as they could.

    Of course Peter W exhorts junk research like this and that’s really all it is. Junk.

  17. jumpnmcar

    “”””Now I guess many of us think we could be Managing Director of BHP-Billiton, but most of us accept that we might have to start at the bottom and work our way up.”””

    Why did the image of Paul Howes jump into my head?

  18. TBH

    I was reading an article in the AFR a couple of weeks ago about the new CEO of one of the retail chains. Woolies I think it was. He worked his way up from stacking shelves to the position he is in today.

    The CEO of the company I used to work for was a field engineer trudging around the jungles of Borneo and made it all the way to the top.

    Social mobility is a fact.

  19. sdfc

    Requiring employees to ask permission to go to the loo sounds pretty counter-productive to me.

  20. JC

    Requiring employees to ask permission to go to the loo sounds pretty counter-productive to me

    That’s bullshit in the way it was presented. In fact there are laws about that. An employer cannot deny such a request coming from an employee.

    However I can think of several jobs where it would be required to notify the boss or even another employee if one going to take a quick slash.

    The ANU cretin presenting this so-called research doesn’t say that though. What type of call center? I could imagine the Telstra call center wanting to know, as they can figure out how many people they have ready at the minimum to accept calls otherwise customers wouldn’t be answered and therefore supervisors temporarily step in to cover.

    Of course the dickwead doesn’t say. This gets picked up by the other misleading prick at the ABC and is passed on as “research”. We had other research too, from Andrew Leigh at the ANU when he tried to peddle swill that the ABC is right wing. Not even you would wallow that lolly, SDFC.

    It’s really hard not to take a serious dislike to these peddlers of mis-inforamtion for ideological reasons. They are such dishonest pricks.

  21. sdfc

    JC

    My reading tends to be financial markets related. I don’t read any of those studies.

    I was just going by the quote in your comment. Notification is fair enough though in my experience people usually cover for each other anyway.

  22. sdfc

    One of my boys just came home with a new computer from school. Good onya Ruddy.

  23. jumpnmcar

    sdfc
    I once knew a medium size builder( the company,not the man) who, at his yard built a toilet for the staff with no light.
    Because 1 lazy prick spent 3 hour a day in there reading soft porn.
    Builders reply when asked ” what? can’t ya find ya arse in the dark”
    Granted, he was an pig of a man, but the blame lays firmly with the bludger.

  24. SAMUEL J

    Exactly Judith.

    The other thing that is important: lifetime earnings. And a person who has a job – no matter how low paid – has a better chance of getting a higher paid job than an unemployed person.

    There is no dignity in unemployment.

    We should remove the minimum wage, eliminate the dole, bring in a negative income tax and remove the excesses of Fair Work which condemn people to poverty and unemployment.

    Gillard and Swan claim that the Budget is about jobs – yes, about fewer jobs than we otherwise would have.

  25. JC

    I don’t read that stuff either unless it’s presented here at times.

    But it’s interesting how you immediately knee jerked to calling it “counter productive” and siding with the leftwinger..

    Notification is fair enough though in my experience people usually cover for each other anyway.

    And perhaps not in a call center where picking up the phone call is vital for customer satisfaction reasons, as they (call center management) may have had bad experiences when there wasn’t a reasonable procedure.

    The prick at the ANU however is presenting this in the Guordian article as an example how some lower income people are screwed up in the head. I think he’s calling the kettle black.

    What’s worse is that this dishonest swill gets pricked up by the dishonest ABC and disseminated through the media like Andrew Leigh’s nonsense about the ABC being rightwing.

    The taxpayer is in fact funding this junk research so they can be lied to by these ideological pricks. This is really contemptible. It borders on fraud in my opinion.

  26. sdfc

    Jump

    You’re always going to get bludgers but that is no reason to alienate the entire staff.

    It’s up to management to give bludgers a kick up the arse. The remainder of the workforce will likely be happy you did.

  27. JC

    It’s up to management to give bludgers a kick up the arse

    You can’t. The regulated labor market now has very strict anti-dismissal laws.

  28. sdfc

    JC

    If you treat people like children they will behave like children.

  29. JC

    If you treat people like children they will behave like children.

    Granted. So how do you avoid it when there are people you are unable to fire because of Labor’s anti-dismissal laws?

  30. sdfc

    JC you can generally spot the bludgers early on.

    I used to supervise a small internal sales team and I makes sure our resident bludger had plenty to do. It’s really not that hard. It’s what you’re paid for.

  31. JC

    I used to supervise a small internal sales team

    vs

    2000 strong call centre.

    Slight difference, jeraldo.

  32. jumpnmcar

    I,m fortunate the I am able to “let someone go” because “a couple of tenders we thought we’d get, didn’t eventuate ”
    But the non-bludgers will always have work, even if i have to “buy” the jobs to keep em.

  33. sdfc

    Maybe I’m making the mistake of assuming they are well run businesses with leading hands spread though the workforce.

  34. JC

    Work it out.

    2000 call centre. I supervisor to 10 people

    200 supervisors for 180 group of 10.

    1 out of each group want to head to the dunny at peak. This means close to 10% of the people can’t answer a phone.

    So it is important the supervisors are aware of it in order to cover for them.

    Do you understand why it is important to keep tabs and why the ANU schelp is a dishonest dick?

  35. sdfc

    So it is important the supervisors are aware of it in order to cover for them.

    You,re back to discussing a requirement to notify the supervisor. Like I said that is good policy.

    What are you arguing about if you agree?

  36. daddy dave

    JC’s point is that the phrase “having to ask to go to the toilet” is dishonest. They’re painting a picture of oppressive workplaces, when as JC says
    1. it’s actually illegal to not let employeesgo to the toilet
    2. in some workplaces, “having to ask” is due to frontline operational reasons, it has nothing to do with being oppressed. Air traffic controllers, no doubt, also “have to ask.”

    so we all agree on all these facts. JC was objecting to the misleading rhetoric.

  37. dover_beach

    One of my favorite lines in a song are:

    I’d rather rim a hole then claim the dole.

    I agree with the sentiment. Can anyone guess the song? I’d be very impressed.

  38. sdfc

    DD

    It’s either ask or notify. What you are describing is standard work practice in my experience.

    Are you saying that call centre workers are lazy?

  39. jumpnmcar

    Dover
    Was it Elton John?

  40. daddy dave

    no.
    But let me ask you something. Do you understand JC’s annoyance at the example? is busting to go but ‘having to ask’ the benchmark of a shitty job, or was the author, as they say, full of it.

  41. sdfc

    I’m not sure what JC’s annoyance has got to do with it.

    My comment was that a permission to piss rule is poor policy. Why alienate your work force?

  42. daddy dave

    well sure. But there are no such workplaces. There are, however, workplaces where you need to notify someone that you’re going. I’ve never worked in such a place, but then again, I’m not an air traffic controller (for example).

  43. sdfc

    DD

    I can only go by personal experience but I have found that people cover anyway.

    If they are not then that is a failure of procedure. That’s easy to fix.

  44. daddy dave

    True. So I’m confused. Is this an argument we’re having here?

  45. sdfc

    That was my point to JC. We seem to be arguing who agrees the most.

  46. dover_beach

    Dover
    Was it Elton John?

    LOL, but no.

  47. jumpnmcar

    On the question of “asking to piss”
    It depends on the timing.
    Waitress during peak service, yes
    Waitress during prep or clean up,no
    Co pilot during take off or landing, yes
    Co pilot during ” the seat belt sign is turned off, no
    Prostitute standing on a corner, no
    Prostitute after money changes hands,yes

  48. A closed conversation is such a nice thing to have; a closed mind is even better.

  49. Quentin George

    sdfc – even the Centrelink call centres (run by the Fed government) have timed bathroom breaks. You can’t run an effective call centre without controlling that.

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