Labor Flexibility

Okies headed west California migrant labor dust bowl great depressionHere’s a thought provoking story about on-demand labor, Amazon has a fufillment warehouse in some low population rural area.  Of course once a year they need more labor, what to do?

Workers from Tulsa were adding a 4-hour round-trip commute to an already grueling 10-to-12 hour shift, Cherie is quick to add. “They’d get there exhausted.”

Enter the workcampers, people making a go at living in their RVs full time-many of whom might be otherwise overqualified. “I think Amazon was skeptical at first,” says Cherie. “But after the first trial year they were very, very impressed. Workcampers came in enthusiastic about working, since most are professionals. We’ve owned businesses or been managers.” White collar workers, trying their hand at the gypsy life. Even better, the workcampers were able to stay locally.

I gather that across the nation the unemployment rate tends to even out.  More because people leave areas with high unemployment rather than because the areas in question spin up jobs for the available labor.  How quickly can that happen?  Faster, I guess, if we all owned RV’s instead of houses.  When I was comunting to Mountain View as part of my job I would often arise before dawn.  At that hour you could see that lot of people live in RVs around Silicon Valley.

2 thoughts on “Labor Flexibility

  1. Gregor J. Rothfuss

    Is has long been known that higher levels of homeownership lead to higher levels of unemployment, yet the silly laws to boost ownership are not repealed. Then again it is not hard to see who benefits from mortgage slaves.

  2. bhyde Post author

    Gregor – Lovely. Of course owning (or any long term relationship) is bad for labor flexibility; which suggests it’s not an unalloyed good.

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