Surviving the Economic Crisis – Is Job Sharing an Answer to Rising Unemployment?

Job sharing, or worksharing, is a simple idea, but it can cause a major re-thinking of work roles. With job sharing, two or more people share a single job. For instance, Anita may work at a job in the morning and Carlos may take over the same job in the afternoon. Job sharing is popular with couples, enabling a husband and wife to each work half a day while taking turns with housekeeping and child-rearing responsibilities at home.

Job sharing may provide considerable flexibility for both workers and organizations. In the last recession, Motorola wanted to cut production at its 9,000-employee Phoenix plant without laying off workers. Layoffs would have created hardships for many employees. They also would have meant high costs for training and recall when it was time to resume full production. Motorola chose job sharing as its approach for cutting production. In so doing, it cut costs by $1.5 million and saved more than a thousand jobs.

This may become the newest trend during the current economic downturn, considering it makes economic sense that its better someone works, rather then becomes a burden on States that can ill afford to support that person through unemployment assistance. A question that may seem irrelevant today, but in the coming years, a challenge to even the most liberal minded thinkers, faced with the socioeconomic problems linked with high unemployment, and falling tax revenues.

If we really look at this concept, that its better to have someone working and not being dependent on the state, whilst they may not pay much in tax, at least they do not need to take from the depleted mountain of Government funds. One country this would work in is Germany, were disguised unemployment levels actually have reached unacceptable levels, and depleted the Governments funds so much, that free enterprise was throttled with taxes. A recipe that created, a nation that punished business, encouraged dependency on the state, and made key industries outsource, rather than invest in their own Country.

The German example of bad economic Management, should be considered a warning to States that face high unemployment levels, but are unwilling or reluctant to implement new ideas to a permanent problem, that will not go away.

Job Sharing may not please employees, but if the option is unemployment then the majority of people mostly will accept the idea of sharing their job, rather than become part of a growing underclass of unemployed.

(The Surviving the Economic Crisis; is a series of articles dealing with the New economic changes we face after the October 2008 crash, and deals with ways we could adjust to and survive these changes)