Monday, November 5, 2012


Ellen Jean Hirst of the Chicago Tribune writes an article for The Detroit News about increased employee burnout as the years of recession drag on. It focuses on psychological issues and stress as a result of fewer workers being tasked to do the work of former colleagues who were laid off.

I have no quibble with the factors mentioned. On the other hand, a factor left out is that when firms first start to experience larger orders and an increase in work levels, they don't hire more workers but rather put their existing workforce on overtime.

In the short-to-medium run, overtime is less expensive than rehiring laid off workers. Extensive overtime then directly contributes to workplace stress as workers get less rest and sleep.