Economy leaves some workers stuck in bad jobs

Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:20pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - With the U.S. economy mired in recession, workers are finding themselves stuck in bad jobs with such annoyances as managers who berate employees and bosses who hold meetings in bed.

Unable to make a move when jobs are scarce and some 14.5 million workers are unemployed, many employees feel trapped and are seeking ways to cope, experts say.

"They can't move," said Kathi Elster, co-author of "Working for You Isn't Working for Me," due out next month.

"They want to leave their jobs because they can't stand somebody in the office or the politics of the company or they're overworked or underworked or they don't like the culture of the company," she said.

Not only is the economy keeping people from changing jobs, but it's likely to mean fewer employees doing more work and bosses under pressure from above, the experts say.

"It's a perfect storm," said Mitchell Kusy, co-author of "Toxic Workplace." In his research of 400 business leaders, 64 percent were currently working with a "toxic personality" and 94 percent had done so at some point in their career.

Many workers would change jobs if they could, according to a survey this week that said many U.S. workers plan a switch when the economy improves. It said 18 percent plan to change employers, 14 percent plan to change careers, 13 percent plan to change industries and 18 percent plan to work fewer hours.

"The unemployed people we know who really can't find jobs are actually happier than the people that are employed because it's so difficult right now," said Elster.   Continued...

<p>A job seeker picks up a copy of the Washington Job Guide at a job fair in a Washington hotel, August 6, 2009. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>