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Sears Is Trying Out A 5-day Workweek

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Sears is trying out a 5-day workweek, predicts some increase in hours worked Mon-Fri but employees would generally welcome this in exchange for fewer total hours and longer weekends.

Chrysler building formally opened last Tuesday, Walter P. Chrysler in attendance. Most of the ground floor and basement leased for a new Schrafft's store.

http://newsfrom1930.blogspot.com/2009/06/m...-123-04_02.html

This blog Mr.B found is putting up the news day by day in the great depression to match our news today.

The bolded part reminds me of companies furloughing workers across the industrialized world over the last few months. Furloughing 2 days a month or every second Friday doesn't sound like much.. but it actually reduces the working hours by 10%. If done across the entire economy, the economy would need ~+10% more workers in jobs than today. This might be the easiest way to wipe out unemployment long term. I wonder if today the furloughs we are seeing in Britain, seeing in states in America, will become permanent.

Some corporations like KPMG are going to 4 day work weeks, a massive 20% reduction in their workforce effectively. But as long as we have hyperdeflation like homes falling in value also by 20%, and nearly everything else falling by that much.. the standard of living remains the same but with people working 4 days a week instead of 5.

In the 1930's going to a 40 hour work week was a massive reduction from the usual 6 day week, 10 hour days of the past. It seems to me companies like Sears led the way, their goal simply to reduce their payroll, not for any broad social goal. But that combined with deflation leads to the same thing.

During the depression and after, a whole host of new ways to get people working less were put in place. Statuatory holidays, 10 a year, means a 5% reduction in the working hours. Retirement and pension at 65 was imo mainly a way to get people out of the workforce to create jobs for young men. This all at a time when it was unusual for women to be working.. 2/3rds of women did not work. All very rational policies for an era when oil and electric powered machinery were replacing the labour of man.

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