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FROM THIS EPISODE

Temporary employment is on the rise, and may become a much larger feature of the recovering economy. We look at the potential consequences, which may be very different for blue-collar workers than they are for professionals or in the executive suites. Also, Kofi Annan steps down as UN Envoy to Syria, and the current Congress is called the least productive in memory because of partisan gridlock.  What's in store for next year?

Banner image: Labor Ready office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Photo by oddsandwich/flickr

Producers:
Anna Scott
Daniel Rothberg
Frances Anderton

Making News Kofi Annan Steps Down as UN Envoy to Syria 7 MIN, 33 SEC

After 17 months, one of the world's most seasoned diplomats has failed to achieve even a ceasefire between the al-Assad government and rebel forces in Syria. Kofi Annan has submitted his resignation as special representative for the UN and the Arab League. Colum Lynch is UN correspondent for the Washington Post and Turtle Bay blogger for Foreign Policy magazine.

Guests:
Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy Magazine (@columlynch)

Main Topic Is Temporary Employment the New Normal? 33 MIN, 39 SEC

It used to be axiomatic that a rise in temporary employment was a sign of economic recovery and that permanent hiring would not be far behind. In recent months, temporary hiring is on the rise, but the old pattern does not seem to be holding. More temps are being hired and they're being kept longer, but fewer employers are making them permanent. So there's flexibility for the employers, but instability for the employees. Temps are now being hired for high-skilled professions -- from engineering to finance to information technology — even at the executive level. Will temporary work be a permanent feature of the new economy?  Will some workers choose nomadic careers while others struggle to fend for themselves?

Guests:
Gabriel Thompson, journalist and author (@G_Thompson1)
Sara Horowitz, Freelancers Union (@Sara_Horowitz)
Cary Leahey, Decision Economics (@mcleahey)
Nik Theodore, University of Illinois, Chicago

Working in the Shadows

Gabriel Thompson

Reporter's Notebook The New Politics of Extremism 7 MIN, 40 SEC

Ohio's long-time Republican Congressman Steven LaTourette has resigned just three months before he was scheduled to stand for re-election.  In Texas, Tea-Party candidate Ted Cruz has won an upset victory to become the Republican nominee for the US Senate.  What do those two events tell us about the next session of Congress? Norman Ornstein is a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. He's co-author with Thomas Mann of the new book, It's Even Worse than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism.

Guests:
Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute (@AEI)

It's Even Worse Than It Looks

Norman Ornstein and Thomas E. Mann

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