BusinessWeek has a new cover story in which it describes today as the era of permanent temporary workers, one in which corporate profits have soared as pay has sagged and benefits have gone missing. Read it here.
Be warned: the story is depressing. And yet I take comfort — irrational comfort, possibly, but comfort nonetheless — in this quote:
“With the economy expanding again, and employers loath to add permanent workers, temp employment is one of the few sectors of the labor market that is growing rapidly,” writes BusinessWeek’s Peter Coy.
That’s good news. Skilled writers with the temerity to risk rejection may be positioned to profit from the economic rebound underway, even if the publishing industry isn’t recovering as fast as others. Or at all.
Indeed, this business is harder today than it was when I started in it six years ago. Right now, as I type, Scott Joplin’s “Solace” — also known as the theme to 1973’s, “The Sting,” starring the late Paul Newman and Robert Redford — is reminding me of this truth as it serenades me. I wonder if this freelance binge is a sting meant to get us to accept more assignments for lower pay. Or maybe it’s a permanent economic shift that we, as social writers, will adjust to and ultimately benefit from.
For now, I remain an optimist, even if I am working more now than I ever have before.
Where do you stand? This is an open thread, so please use the comments tab below to share your thoughts. You can also click on the ‘Editorchat” tab above to learn more about the weekly conversation fellow freelancer Lydia Dishman and I host on FriendFeed. Tonight, beginning at 8:30 pm eastern, we’ll be talking about technological shifts. All professional writers and editors welcome.
© Copyright 2015, Tim Beyers.