Daily Archives: April 13, 2009

John Gapper

Prompted by The Masters golf tournament, Justin Fox has an interesting analysis of the comparative wages of golf caddies and skilled manual workers in the US. His conclusion is that, while it used to be just about as rewarding to work in a factory as to caddy for a tournament player, those days are long gone.

Of course, the caddy-plant operator wage disparity is a microcosm of a broader truth about western economies – that it is very hard for a high school-educated man to get a well-paid job these days. A lot of the economic strains in advanced industrialised societies are caused by this fact. Read more

John Gapper

Offering employees paid sabbaticals on lower wages, and prodding them to go off and do something rewarding seems like a European, not to say Swedish, employment policy. But it is catching on among the most unlikely of US employers.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which as the New York Times puts it, is “a notably gruelling place for a lawyer to work”, is offering all 1,300 of its associates – employees below partner level a year off, on a third of their salaries, as a means of cutting costs and sitting out the downturn. Read more