The neoliberal era has seen a proliferation of low-paying insecure employment, as if we didn’t know that.
By our calculations, about 24 percent of U.S. workers were in a bad job in 2010 (the most recently available data). The share of bad jobs in the economy is substantially higher than it was in 1979, when 18 percent of workers were in a bad job by the same definition. The problems we identify here are long-term and largely unrelated to the Great Recession. Most of the increase in bad jobs – to 22 percent in 2007 – occurred before the recession and subsequent weak recovery.
Note this study says nothing about the actual meaningfulness, enjoyability, or social utility of the jobs in question. It’s purely based on economic factors: salary, health insurance, retirement plan. Factor in whether jobs are rewarding avenues for people’s gifts and aspirations – or not – and the share of shitty jobs vaults upwards I would guess.