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February 28, 2003
Tech Workers Take Unpaid Jobs to Bide Their Time
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another sign that the jobs recovery hasn't materialized completely, the number of Silicon Valley tech workers working for free appears to be growing, USA Today reports.

Unemployed workers tell the newspaper they work for free to maintain and hone their skills and some say they hope to secure employment within the company once the markets bounce back.

"The last thing you want to show a prospective employer is a resume with a two-year gap between jobs," says Neel Kumar, a software developer who works part-time for free. "It gives me as chance to increase my knowledge."

Last year, software firm eSelf advertised it would offer unpaid training -- and received in response over 200 resume in two days, according to USA Today. The firm offered no pay, no guarantee of a permanent job, but enticed laid-off workers with stock options, the newspaper reports.

USA Today notes that laid-off workers have few other options. Santa Clara County has lost 100,000 jobs since 2001.

"Many unemployed are leaping at the opportunity for any type of work," says Patti Wilson, a career counselor in Silicon Valley.

A surplus of tech workers could also impact paid employees, an economist tells USA Today. Paid employees could find it more difficult to get pay increases, says Mark Zandi, chief economist of


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