(Fortune) Katherine Lewis: Unpaid jobs: The new normal?

With nearly 14 million unemployed workers in America, many have gotten so desperate that they’re willing to work for free. While some businesses are wary of the legal risks and supervision such an arrangement might require, companies that have used free workers say it can pay off when done right.

“People who work for free are far hungrier than anybody who has a salary, so they’re going to outperform, they’re going to try to please, they’re going to be creative,” says Kelly Fallis, chief executive of Remote Stylist, a Toronto and New York-based startup that provides Web-based interior design services. “From a cost savings perspective, to get something off the ground, it’s huge. Especially if you’re a small business.”

In the last three years, Fallis has used about 50 unpaid interns for duties in marketing, editorial, advertising, sales, account management and public relations. She’s convinced it’s the wave of the future in human resources. “Ten years from now, this is going to be the norm,” she says.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

5 comments on “(Fortune) Katherine Lewis: Unpaid jobs: The new normal?

  1. BlueOntario says:

    Takes the concept of “wage slavery” a step or so further.

  2. trimom says:

    Malachi 3:5 So I will come near to you for judgement. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers, and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, …..

  3. Todd Granger says:

    Amen, BlueOntario and trimom.

  4. Tired of Hypocrisy says:

    First of all this is not new. This has been going on for a long time, but it’s more blatant than ever since there are so few paying jobs available. Secondly, there’s a large segment of the working population earning some money but less than a living wage, either because they’re only part time or because their full time wages are low. Not only is this morally reprehensible, but it’s also counter-productive from a business standpoint because people who work for free or almost free can’t afford the goods and services that could generate more good paying jobs.

  5. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    AMEN #1 & #2. This is a great wickedness being done to people. Not only does it impact those that are working for free, it also puts a downward pressure on the wages of those that are being paid. Our society is also facing the double whammy of their purchasing power being stolen by the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing and purchases of Federal Treasurey securities. Our very currency is a dishonest scale and these “employers” do not even want to pay with that corrupted money.

    “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.” (Prov. 11:1)

    When the purchasing power of dollars are deliberately manipulated the way they have been, and the value constantly eroded…how better to describe it than “dishonest scales”?

    Last year, I was “buying” silver dollar coins at an exchange rate of between $19-$21 paper Federal Reserve Notes each. Just think about that for a moment. A single real silver dollar required about 20 paper dollars of fiat currency to buy. So, since we went off silver as an anchor for the value of our money, the paper scrip became worth 1/20th of what a real silver dollar was worth. This past week, less than a year after I was buying silver dollars at about $20 in Federal Reserve Notes for one, the “price” of a silver dollar is now about $37 in Federal Reserve Notes for one. In less than one year, the Federal Reserve’s printing of money has robbed me of the purchasing power of their paper scrip yet again! This isn’t just about silver and gold. Did your petrol prices go up? How is your grocery bill doing? Yet fuel and food are not counted when inflation is calculatated. Who needs heat or food to live? No, only durable goods are counted when we calculate inflation. “Why, just look at how housing prices are falling! All is well. There is no ‘inflation’.”

    How utterly dishonest! How wicked the scales!

    “Differing weights are an abomination to the LORD, And a false scale is not good.” (Prov. 20:23)

    Oh Lord Jesus, hear your people! Give us relief from wicked men that oppress us and steal from us!

    “He breaks in pieces mighty men without inquiry,
    And sets others in their place.
    Therefore He knows their works,
    And He overthrows them in the night,
    And they are crushed.
    He strikes them like the wicked
    In a public place,
    Because they turned aside from following Him,
    And had no regard for any of His ways;
    So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him,
    And that He might hear the cry of the afflicted– ”
    (Job 34:24-28)