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Crisis spurs people to work for free

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posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:42 AM

With U.S. unemployment at a 20-year high, some Americans are working for free while looking for a job, but experts are split over whether it is a sign of dedication or desperation.

Unpaid job seekers can keep their resumes fresh by boosting their experience and learning new skills, experts say, but others warn businesses may take advantage of the jobless and that it is illegal for commercial companies not to pay workers.

It's not only the unemployed taking on free work. Some employed people are being asked by bosses to go without pay.

Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the Washington D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute, warns that while people can volunteer time for non-profit groups and government, it is illegal for commercial companies to not pay workers.

"It's not just a bad idea, it's illegal," Eisenbrey. "The law says (companies) may not suffer or permit employees to work for less than the minimum wage.

"The more desperate people get, they will do things like this to try and make themselves more appealing to an employer," he said. "The short-term prospects for most of the unemployed are very bad. They aren't going to be made much better by working off the books or working for nothing."

Working for free doesn't put food on the table or pay the bills but I guess people are so desperate that they will do anything "legal" to try to get a paying job.

Sign of the times

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:58 AM
I would never work for free as I already dont have much because I got fired(for a stupid reason on there part) and cant find a job. Im trying to sell my art work to make ends meet but thats not going so well. Sold my racecar for some cash, and trying to sell my daily driver for some extra cash.

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 11:17 AM
no thanks. collecting unemployment and trading penny stocks. i think i will do fine

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 11:19 AM
This is not a good idea, when people start doing this you know companies will take advantage of this desperation. But like the OP said: it doesn't pay the bills or put food on the table; so How are they paying their bills and eating? Is their family suffering because of this? And if so, wouldn't there be some kind of home conflict? I know I am getting upset because My SO's boss isn't paying him right or on time, I can just imagine if he was working for free, I'd go postal on him! Lol. I bet domestic violence takes a turn for the worse.
This is no way to live in America. No one gets ahead when work is offered for free, it's called slavery and it's against the law!

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 11:22 AM
Where are all of these "work for free" jobs?

I haven't seen anyone advertising anything like that in my area.

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 11:39 AM
reply to post by uplander

I've noticed this trend, too. It's become a plague in the NYC job postings on Craiglist, especially for art/design, editorial/writing and non-profit/social services type of positions. I have a full-time job and try to supplement my income by doing freelance art, music, or graphic design jobs on the side, but I'l often see posts that read "need web designer with at least 3 years of experience. No pay, but you'll receive credit or "great exposure." Maybe teenagers living at home can work for "credit" but I have bills to pay!

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 11:55 AM
There are a lot of turn key business opportunities out there for people that are unemployed. Most only require a small amount of money for starting up. There is everything from carpet cleaning to vending machines.

Most are under $10,000 when starting up your own business.

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 12:12 PM
We all need to become hog farmers

Gov Paying Over a Half Million Dollars a Pound for Sliced Ham?

Was the ham gold platted and studded with diamonds?

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 06:19 PM
With the taxes we pay, both direct taxes and the increased prices we pay due embedded taxes in goods, we are already on our way to the work for free point.

Or is that slavery?

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