Laid Off, Laid Low

Political and Economic Consequences of Employment Insecurity

Edited by Katherine S. Newman

Columbia University Press

Laid Off, Laid Low

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Pub Date: October 2008

ISBN: 9780231146050

136 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $22.00£16.00

Pub Date: October 2008

ISBN: 9780231146043

136 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $65.00£48.00

Pub Date: October 2008

ISBN: 9780231518628

136 Pages

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List Price: $21.99£16.00

Laid Off, Laid Low

Political and Economic Consequences of Employment Insecurity

Edited by Katherine S. Newman

Columbia University Press

Laid Off, Laid Low provides a sobering portrait of the ailing American labor system and the social and political consequences of increasing job insecurity. It proves that the health of the labor market is not a transitory issue brought low by the factors of recession, but a serious concern reflecting deep structural problems in American society. In this book, economists, sociologists, and public policy and political scientists reveal how the American labor market has grown particularly problematic for new job-seekers, trends that are not obvious when averaging the entire population. The contributors to this volume focus instead on changing job patterns between generations, which show that the job prospects for young Americans are more short-term than their predecessors, and that white-collar managers, once members of the most privileged sector, are now experiencing a faster negative rate of change. As this book makes clear, Americans will soon face epic job losses, irreversible trends in downward mobility, and long-lasting economic insecurity-politically polarizing outcomes that will cause even more anxiety among families. Encompassing a number of different disciplines, the prominent scholars of Laid Off, Laid Low provide a full analysis of today's most pressing economic issues.

Contributors: Sheldon Danziger and Ben Keys: "Unemployment Risk among Low Wage Workers: 1970-2000"; Hank Farber: "Employment Insecurity: The Decline in Worker-Firm Attachment in the United States"; Elizabeth Jacobs and Katherine Newman: "Rising Angst? Change and Stability in Perceptions of Insecurity"; Philipp Rehm: "Partisan Politics and Labor Market Risks"; Ann Huff Stevens: "Holding Firm: The Stability of Long-Term Employment in the US, 1969-2004"

With the economy changing rapidly and inequality on the rise, a greater number of working and middle class Americans are now facing unemployment. Families experience this risk as the stress of insecurity, which manifests in voting trends and the undercutting of loyalties that bind workers to firms. Instead of developing institutions to cushion this risk, American policy has increased the extent to which risk falls on the individual and the family. The privatization of risk is pervasive in American society. It hurts individuals and threatens social cohesion. Examining the risks of unemployment and related public policy, Laid Off, Laid Low is a crucial book for policymakers, social scientists, and all who care about the public good.

Craig Calhoun, president, Social Science Research Council
Introduction: High Anxiety, by Katherine S. Newman
1. Short(er) Shrift: The Decline in Worker-Firm Attachment in the United States, by Henry S. Farber
2. Not So Fast: Long-Term Employment in the United States, 1969-2004, by Ann Huff Stevens
3. Hurt the Worst: The Risk of Unemployment among Disadvantaged and Advantaged Male Workers, 1968-2003, by Benjamin J. Keys and Sheldon Danziger
4. Rising Angst?: change and Stability in Perceptions of Economic Insecurity, by Elisabeth Jacobs and Katherine S. Newman
5. Ballot Boxing: Partisan Politics and Labor Market Risks, by Philipp Rehm
List of Contributors

About the Author

Katherine S. Newman is the Forbes Class of 1941 Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, the director of the Joint Doctoral Programs in Sociology, Politics, Psychology, and Social Policy, and the director of the Institute for International and Regional Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of eight books on inequality, poverty, and mobility in American society.