The Poverty of Work: Selling Servant, Slave and Temporary Labor on the Free Market

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    David Van Arsdale

    Publisher: Haymarket Books

    Year: 2018

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 228 pages

    ISBN: 9781608468331


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This study takes readers inside the world of temping to discover a type of work dreadfully insecure yet growing rapidly.

This chilling look inside the history of employment agencies in the U.S. argues that they should have been abolished with slavery, or at the very least, put under tight government control. Today, left largely unregulated, employment agencies generate astonishing revenue by selling flexible, on-demand temporary workers. In the process millions are trapped in a cycle of unemployment, despair, and poverty.

What People Are Saying

"[Van Arsdale's] participant-observer methodology vividly conveys the insecure nature of working for corporate and non-corporate employment agencies. Together with his comprehensive historiography, these features of Van Arsdale’s book make it a significant and original contribution to the growing literature on temporary employment agencies and their impact on work arrangements and the broader labour market." Dr. Judy Fudge, Professor of Labour Studies, McMaster University

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