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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Work in the Postindustrial Economy of California


Utilizing new data from the ILE's 2001-02 California Workforce Survey, this chapter compares the situation of the state's managers and professionals, on the one hand, to that of its clerical, service and blue-collar workers, on the other. Even more than in the past, the contrast between the two groups is striking. The managerial-professional group - which is disproportionately white and male - is doing well, both in regard to incomes and fringe benefits as well as in regard to the quality of work experience. Most managerial and professional respondents find their work enjoyable, but many report working long hours and being tied to their jobs after hours by new telecommunications technologies. By contrast, clerical, service, and blue-collar workers - a disproportionately female, nonwhite and foreign-born group - earn less, have fewer fringe benefits, and work shorter hours - in many cases fewer hours than they would like. They are also much more fearful of layoffs. However, unionized workers in the clerical, service and blue-collar group enjoy more job security as well as better pay and fringe benefits than do their nonunion counterparts.

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