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Why is UK unemployment still low? We are working longer hours | Business | The Guardian
Torsten Bell and Laura Gardiner of the Resolution Foundation thinktank have come up with a much simpler explanation: more people are working, and they are working for longer, because as a nation we are a lot poorer than we expected to be.

Bell and Gardiner’s theory goes as follows: the deep recession of 2008-09 led to a dramatic fall in wages as people either took pay cuts or had them imposed upon them. In contrast to previous economic cycles, there was no marked bounce back in wages when output started to recover. Rather, earnings growth remained sluggish. Having fallen far further than expected, household incomes stayed low. A median earner is today earning one-fifth less than would have been the case had the pre-crisis trend in real earnings been sustained.

That is quite a chunk to take out of a family budget, and the upshot has been an increase in the supply of labour. “A rational response from households has been to shield family finances from the depth of such earnings reductions by increasing the number of workers or working more hours,” Bell and Gardiner say, offering three pieces of evidence to support their thesis.
UK  economy  unemployment  productivity  pay  wages  hours  women  ResolutionFoundation  dctagged  dc:creator=ElliottLarry 
3 days ago by petej
Vietnamese migrants are not ‘lured’ by traffickers. They just want a better future | Hsiao-Hung Pai | Opinion | The Guardian
The 39 people were not “unthinking migrants” lured by traffickers, as the media has suggested. They were fighting for a future for their families, and lost their precious lives as Britain firmly kept its doors locked shut.

If the tragic deaths of these men and women truly sadden you, the best thing to do is oppose Britain’s anti-migrant policies. We need to dismantle the false categories of “economic migrants” and “genuine refugees”. Let our fellow human beings have the opportunity to live and work in the open – that is the only way forward.
Vietnam  migration  migrants  economy  pay  wages  unemployment  trafficking  smuggling  immigration  policy  UK 
21 days ago by petej
Our next Prime Minister is pushing the idea that work is the 'cure' for depression.
The fact that unemployment is harmful does not demonstrate that work is good for you; rather, it is a result of the subordination of health and wellbeing to work.
JohnsonBoris  work  labour  mentalHealth  UK  politics  employment  unemployment 
july 2019 by petej
Brexit proved our economy is broken, but our leaders still have no clue how to fix it | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian
It ultimately comes down to this: decades of privatisation, hammering unions and chucking billions at the housing market while stripping the welfare state has effectively ended any semblance of a national, redistributive economy in which a child born in Sunderland can expect to have similar life chances to one born in Surrey. Yet politicians remain fixated on mechanisms that no longer work adequately for those who actually depend on the economy. They obsess over GDP growth when the benefits of that are unequally shared between classes and regions. They boast about job creation when wages are still on the floor.
UK  economy  inequality  Brexit  CoetzeeRyan  OsborneGeorge  HammondPhilip  DuncanSmithIain  deindustrialisation  unemployment  privatisation  cuts  GDP  LegatumInstitute  dctagged  dc:creator=ChakraborttyAditya 
january 2019 by petej
New study shows Brexit is drenched in fake news
The truth is that the public are grotesquely misinformed about European immigration. And that's not compared to data by a pro-immigration body but to a report which goes out of its way to justify a draconian policy.

No-one really wants to talk about this. It is unfashionable to suggest that the public can be wrong about things.

Instead of grappling with this reality, the response of the political class - including journalists and think tankers as well as politicians - is to act like the falsehoods are real. The public cannot be wrong so the whole earth must shift on its axis to behave as if they're right. And that is how we have found ourselves here, threatening to detonate our trade and diplomatic status to reduce European immigration, even though the political class knows that it doesn't actually do us any harm. It is a truly insane situation to be in. Future history students will be baffled and aghast at the mass mania we have fallen into.

There is another way, of course. It is to ask how print, broadcast and online media failed so spectacularly that the public could have ever become so ill-informed. It is to think up new ways of challenging populist rhetoric, by combining evidence and reason with passion and narrative-storytelling instead of treating them as mutually exclusive. It is by addressing the root material causes of people's discontent.
UK  Brexit  immigration  statistics  freedomOfMovement  pay  wages  unemployment  MAC  misinformation  dctagged  dc:creator=DuntIan 
october 2018 by petej
Will Nissan stay once Britain leaves? How one factory explains the Brexit business dilemma | News | The Guardian
“The deal [is] tangible evidence of the benefits to the UK of membership of the European Community; Nissan [has] chosen the United Kingdom because it [gives] them access to the whole European market. If we were outside the community, it is very unlikely that Nissan would have given the United Kingdom serious consideration as a base for this substantial investment.”


In fact, after Cornwall, the north-east receives England’s second-highest amount of EU structural funding proportionate to its population, according to a report compiled before the referendum for Sunderland’s public and private sector partnership, the Economic Leadership Board. The current round of EU funding, being managed by the region’s local enterprise partnership, is £437m between 2014 and 2020. Nissan itself, according to Farnsworth’s research, has received £450m in loans from the European Investment Bank, and £347m in grants and other public funding, from the UK and EU.
Nissan  cars  manufacturing  business  Sunderland  employment  jobs  HodgsonSharon  Brexit  EU  components  supply  just-in-time  efficiency  singleMarket  customsUnion  WTO  noDeal  GhosnCarlos  Renault  Mitsubishi  investment  costs  unemployment  deprivation  poverty  industry  ThatcherMargaret  HeseltineMichael  Japan  Honda  Toyota  grants  government  Unite  tradeUnion  GibsonIan  uncertainty  RamsbothamJames  dctagged  dc:creator=ConnDavid 
october 2018 by petej
Marx, labor and the problem with Kathi Weeks | The Real Movement
Marx’s own criticism of labor had nothing to do with this — he argued the laborer herself would become superfluous under the capitalist mode of production. Postone, who Weeks cites at one point, make the same point in his own book. The idea that labor and the working class itself would become superfluous — i.e., that a great mass of workers would themselves become unnecessary to the production of material wealth — never appears in Weeks’ book. The desperate demand of the working class for jobs is but a reflex of the material reality that, for the production of real wealth, it is entirely redundant.

Is there a connection between the superfluity of labor and the sudden cessation of labor’s demand for fewer hours? How would we know, since Weeks has no idea these two events meet in the Great Depression; when the overworked millions, who took to the street of Europe and the United States to demand reduction of hours of labor, were replaced by millions of unemployed workers in every advanced country, who no longer demand freedom from work but were forced to beg for work — any work, even in the defense industries where the means for their own destruction were built.
WeeksKathi  work  labour  capitalism  hours  surplusValue  Weber  workEthic  tradeUnions  Marx  jobs  employment  unemployment 
march 2018 by petej
Escape to another world | 1843
A life spent buried in video games, scraping by on meagre pay from irregular work or dependent on others, might seem empty and sad. Whether it is emptier and sadder than one spent buried in finance, accumulating points during long hours at the office while neglecting other aspects of life, is a matter of perspective. But what does seem clear is that the choices we make in life are shaped by the options available to us. A society that dislikes the idea of young men gaming their days away should perhaps invest in more dynamic difficulty adjustment in real life. And a society which regards such adjustments as fundamentally unfair should be more tolerant of those who choose to spend their time in an alternate reality, enjoying the distractions and the succour it provides to those who feel that the outside world is more rigged than the game.
work  labour  jobs  employment  unemployment  games  gaming  leisure  escapism  dctagged  dc:creator=AventRyan 
march 2017 by petej
Labour's big debate over immigration looks very different when you listen to what voters really care about | The Independent
"Migration has since been presented as the defining issue feeding the perception, among Labour voters, that the party has abandoned its working class base. Certainly migration did comes up in these focus groups. A lot. But so, too, did the sense that politicians lie, or that Labour is no longer distinguishable from the Conservative party. And so did the idea that Labour’s troubles began with Tony Blair.

It goes on: there were serious worries about the NHS, low wages, job insecurity and schools, and about Jeremy Corbyn as leader, as he was seen as lacking strength. While there is much concern about demographic and social change, it sometimes takes second place to changes to the question of industry and jobs – big employers are moving out, and none moving in."
LabourParty  UK  politics  migration  immigration  freedomOfMovement  EU  Brexit  CorbynJeremy  NHS  wages  precarity  insecurity  unemployment  jobs  dctagged  dc:creator=ShabiRachel 
january 2017 by petej
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