Huffington Post has posted a Reuters report that Walmart is only hiring temporary employees in several states. This move lets the retailers staff busy times without taking on full time employees, The report also notes that hours of some full time employees are being cut. Other retailers are following a similar model.
As I blogged yesterday, the biggest problem facing workers today isn’t unemployment. It is wages. It doesn’t matter if someone is at a low wage job or if they are paid a decent hourly wage with limited hours, in either case, the worker is not making enough money. Walmart and other companies are looking ways to push up profits and share prices. Too often they are doing so on the backs of working people.
Yes! Magazine profiles how new businesses are creating jobs in Detroit. Entrepreneurs are finding new ways to make the best of a bad situation (33% unemployment in the city). Reuse is at the heart of one thread of reform. Old buildings are finding new uses and barren land is being turned into farms. A second resource for business is Open City, a group that support entrepreneurs. Other business are collaborating to market their service and control overhead. Anchors businesses, like Slows Barbecue (where I ate a few weeks ago) have helped blocks revitalize and bring people back to once blighted areas. A final way Detroit is promoting local business is to call on people to shop locally for the holidays. Money spent on internet sales does not stay in the community. Buy local, and you support your community.
The story’s author Stacy Mitchell admits that these are small steps that will not employ enough people to turn the city around. At the same time, the story presents an alternative to the pessimistic refrain. Block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, local economies and small business are improving life in America’s big cities. It’s not the full answer, but it’s a good start.