Neo Liberal Globalization Kills Good Jobs

Well, you’ve heard that kind of line from labour and the left, but now the IMF seems to have been pretty much won over to the argument that global supply chains and technological change are killing more good jobs than they create.

In a distinctly gloomy Box starting on p.41  in the latest World Economic Outlook  “Slow Recovery to Nowhere?”,  several recent studies are cited which show a shift in advanced economy employment away from middle skill, middle productivity jobs, especially in manufacturing, towards low skill, low productivity jobs. The shift of jobs out of high productivity growth manufacturing towards low productivity growth services is associated with slower overall productivity and potential output growth, and increasing inequality.


  • I have to say I do like that title “Slow Recovery to Nowhere? ” but they need to drop the question mark and put an exclaimation mark, and hence the political fence sitting. Now I will shut up and read the paper over the week and see if they come off the fence or not.

    I do want to add that the Good Jobs notion, as some of you know, is one of my current research interests and have been focusing on. One thing I need to try and prove, which this paper kindly supports, shows that good jobs, with appropriate measurement tools, are indeed, declining.

    THere are others studies as well, the key point for some kind of vehicle that tracks Good Jobs that I have been interested in building, and in the midst of churing the data wheel on the research portion, can we easily measure this fact with off the shelf data and what are the overall trends with Good Jobs? I know Andrew Sharpe and crew tried something remotely similar, but seemed to conclude that some individual measures or proxies of good jobs were merely following total employment levels. I am not so sure that is the case when one combines various measure.
    However the methods and the objectives were not distinctly trying to measure good jobs, but some notion of abstracted job contentment. I am after a macro notion of Good Jobs, i.e. part time, self employment, the whole precvarious work growth that Leah Vosko makes quite clear in her book published earlier this year.

    With that as a backdrop, it is what I am in the midst of exploring with Canadian LFS data.

    How have “good Jobs” trended over the past 10 years.

    That will in the medium term serve as a pilot to the creation of a Good Jobs Index. Of course this depends on the findings of the pilot and what the data clarifies, or muddles (using off the shelf data who knows muddling may indeed be the outcome).

    For those interested in keeping track of the research here is a link to my blog on it, which I will be updating periodically.

  • Would you please stop calling it neoliberalism! Capitalism, that is the free market – goes to where labor is cheapest. Innovations in transportation and energy have forced first world labor to compete with the bottom billions and the west is hemorrhaging.

  • seems like our friend Stephen Gordon has been doing nasty things in the Economic lab again. I am now pretty much convinced Mr. Gordon selects his topics just to piss me off. Today’s article, in the Globe- Why the Cry for Jobs is not warranted. Tell that to all those undercounted, underpaid, underemployed and unemployed.

    I mean really Mr. Gordon, household debt is at its highest alarming rate ever, we have a third or more peopel living payday to payday, and good jobs in free fall, yet some how that is not enough evidence to Mr. Gordon that we need some real change iin direction to the economy.

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