The Workweek: A Round-Up of Labor Market Links for the Week Ending 10/7/16

Welcome back to The Workweek, the Indeed Hiring Lab’s weekly round-up of the latest research, news, and perspectives. Whatever made us think deeply or differently about the labor market this week. It’s your guide to the most important new insights about work that

Here are our picks for this week:

The Manufacturing “Obsession”

Why do politicians talk so much about manufacturing jobs, which represent less than 10% of the labor market? There’s a nostalgia for the post-war manufacturing boom, and manufacturing workers were often organized by unions. As manufacturing has borne the brunt of automation and globalization, output continues to grow but with fewer workers. (New York Times)

A Gentle Brexit

“Quit the EU gently to protect British workers,” argues a Financial Times columnist, who warns that manufacturing jobs, in particular, could leave Britain unless its exit from the EU is a “steady transition.” The cost of manufacturing-job loss would be political, not just economic. (Financial Times)

Fair-Weather Jobs

Job growth is faster in months that are unseasonably warm or dry. Construction, natural resources and mining, and leisure and hospitality employment are most sensitive to weather. However, extreme heat slows job growth, and — unlike other weather effects — the impact persists: add that to the list of hurt from climate change. (San Francisco Fed)

Jobless Ex-Cons

The rise of joblessness among men is a decades-long trend in many rich countries. But the labor-force dropout rate has climbed faster in the US than elsewhere, which global forces alone — like technology change — can’t explain. One possible reason for the plight of US men? “The great incarceration wave that began in the 1970s has produced millions of ex-convicts who are ill-prepared for jobs or are discriminated against by employers even when they are prepared.” (Bloomberg View)

What To Do About Automation

As automation will replace some jobs, what should government and companies do for workers? A universal basic income? Wage subsidies? Company-funded training? Or is automation not really the problem in the first place? Smarties from the research world weigh in with their perspectives in a “Room for Debate.” (New York Times)

And finally: don’t miss our take on the U.S. jobs report for September: it was a solid month for the U.S. labor market, except for those without high school degrees. Unemployment among the least-educated jumped.

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