The current state of labor markets
Urban U.S. labor markets today are vastly more educated and skill-intensive than they were five decades ago. Yet, urban non-college workers currently perform substantially less skilled work than in prior decades. This deskilling reflects the joint effects of automation and international trade, which have eliminated the bulk of non-college production, administrative support, and clerical jobs, yielding a disproportionate polarization of urban labor markets.
Work of the Past, Work of the Future
Author: David Autor
Much of our policy conversation today focuses on solutions that elide the true source of the problem. Ex post redistribution through taxes and transfers accepts the productive structure as given, and merely ameliorates the results through handouts. Investments in education, universal basic income (UBI), and social wealth funds seek to enhance the endowments of the workforce, without ensuring productive integration.
Rodrik and Sabel propose a new strategy of “building a good jobs economy” which has three, mutually re-enforcing components:
- Increase the skill level and productivity of existing jobs, and the competitiveness of firms;
- Increase the number of good jobs by supporting startups, and the expansion of existing, local firms; and
- Develop labor market policies to help workers, especially from at-risk groups, master the skills required for good jobs.
Building a good jobs economy
Authors: Dani Rodrik, Charles Sabel
From: Harvard University, Columbia University