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E-book

Work in the New Economy: Flexible Labor Markets in Silicon Valley

ISBN: 978-0-470-69541-8
312 pages
April 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Work in the New Economy: Flexible Labor Markets in Silicon Valley (0470695412) cover image
This book contributes to our understanding of the transformation of work in the information economy, through a detailed examination of labor markets in Silicon Valley. It provides an original and insightful analysis of flexible labor including growing volatility in work demands and increasingly tenuous employment relations.

  • Contributes to our understanding of the transformation of work in the information economy, through a detailed examination of labor markets in Silicon Valley.
  • Provides an original and insightful analysis of flexible labor including growing volatility in work demands and increasingly tenuous employment relations.
  • Examines the increasingly important role of labor market intermediaries.
  • Shows that some workers clearly thrive in this vibrant context, but many face high levels of insecurity admist growing inquality.
See More
List of Figures.

List of Tables.

Acknowledgments.

Preface.

Introduction.

Flexibility.

Intermediaries.

Careers.

Research Data.

Part I: Flexibility and the Transformation of Work and Employment.

1. Understanding Flexibility.

Labor Markets in the Information Economy.

Flexible Work and Flexible Employment.

2. Silicon Valley: Changing Industry Structure and Employment Practices.

Flexible Work and Employment Practices.

Economic Change and Flexibility.

Conclusion: Flexbility and Volatility.

Appendix: Industry Cluster Analysis.

Part II: Flexibility and Intermediaries.

3. Flexibility and Intermediation.

Labor Market Intermediaries.

Intermediation and Markets.

Intermediation and Flexible Labor Markets.

Conclusion: Increasing Intermediation.

4. Labor Market Intermediaries: Private Sector.

Temporary Help Agencies.

Consultant Brokerage Firms.

Web-based Intermediaries.

Employer of Record.

Professional Employer Organizations.

Conclusion: The Labor Market as Business Opportunity.

5. Labor Market Intermediaries: Membership Based.

Blurring Boundaries.

Silicon Valley Membership-based Intermediaries.

Conclusion: Building Community-based Careers.

6. Labor Market Intermediaries: Public Sector.

Workforce Development System.

Education-based Intermediaries.

Non-profit/Community-based Initiatives.

Conclusion: Challenges to Training and Workforce Development.

Part III: Flexibility and Careers.

7. Careers in Silicon Valley.

Growing Inequality.

Flexibility and Labor Market Outcomes.

Intermediaries and Labor Market Outcomes.

Conclusion: Significant Problems Exist.

Appendix: Silicon Valley Wage Data.

8. Flexbility and Security.

New Concepts for Labor Markets in the Information Economy.

Intermediaries and Labor Market Policy.

Labor Flexibility and a New Employment Contract.

A Final Word.

Bibliography.

Index.

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Chris Benner is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the Pennsylvania State University and a Research Associate at both the Sociology of Work Program at the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) and the Center for Justice, Tolerance and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has written extensively on workforce development and training systems, labor flexibility, non-standard employment, employment insecurity, regional development policy, dynamics of occupational learning networks, and new forms of labor organizing. His publications have appeared in a range of both academic journals and more popular outlets. He received his doctorate in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.
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  • Contributes to our understanding of the transformation of work in the information economy, through a detailed examination of labor markets in Silicon Valley.
  • Provides an original and insightful analysis of flexible labor including growing volatility in work demands and increasingly tenuous employment relations.
  • Examines the increasingly important role of labor market intermediaries.
  • Shows that some workers clearly thrive in this vibrant context, but many face high levels of insecurity admist growing inquality.
See More
“The labor market in Silicon Valley is the likely harbinger of things to come in the rest of the American economy. Chris Benner’s analysis of this market’s structure should be taken very seriously. He has brought us a vast amount of information that will help policy makers plan for the future.” Professor Martin Carnoy, Stanford University

“Benner’s work on the Silicon Valley’s labor markets provides valuable insights for policymakers and activists as well as scholars who care about the future of work and workers in the new economy.” ProfessorAnnaLee Saxenian, UC Berkeley

"Chris Benner, in his ground-breaking study of Work in the New Economy has done us an immense favour by offering an alternative way to conceptualize labour markets, a way which not only allows us to capture the dynamics within them, but also helps us move dialectically between structuralist approaches and those rooted in notions of individual agency." International Review of Social History

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