If medical evidence shows young people to be least affected by coronavirus, they are most likely to suffer economically. The Institute of Fiscal Studies reports that employees aged under 25 are about two and a half times as likely to work in a sector that is now closing down. https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/14791 Some economists are predicting that … Continue reading Lock down will hit young people the hardest.
Management and personnel journals are well versed in the advantages of working from home. Working from home is supposed to improve employee retention - by eliminating increasingly long commutes, it allows employers to recruit applicants from more geographically remote areas, improves motivation and efficiency and of course, produces financial benefits, savings on office space and … Continue reading ‘There’s no place like home’? – working practices after the crisis.
".............. governments need to deploy massive fiscal stimulus, including through “helicopter drops” of direct cash disbursements to households. Given the size of the economic shock, fiscal deficits in advanced economies will need to increase from 2-3% of GDP to about 10% or more. Only central governments have balance sheets large and strong enough to prevent … Continue reading ‘Helicopter drops’ and the magic money tree…
Just think. Barely a month ago government was still sticking to its ‘fiscal rules’ about how much it could borrow and for what. Loosening the ‘austerity’ straitjacket slightly but still reminding us that there was no ‘magic money tree’, everything needed to be costed and paid for. On the eve of Chancellor’s 'coronavirus' budget, announcing … Continue reading There is a magic money tree (or a forest) after all!
While all major western capitalist economies have experienced a growth in the proportion of low paid, low skilled work especially within the service sector, these trends have been particularly pronounced in the UK. Accelerated by a decade of austerity they have been the deliberate result of an economic model promoted by Boris Johnson's predecessors. … Continue reading Tories dismantling their own ‘reserve army’
Labour has always been the party of manufacturing. By the second half of the 20th century, factory workers had taken over from those working in ‘primary’ production as Labour’s main union base. A need to rebuild manufacture is now, if speeches by leadership candidates and trade union general secretaries are anything to go by, seen … Continue reading Manufacturing jobs are not coming back.
Labour’s planned tax rises for those earning over £80 000 have attracted their fair share of controversy. While these will affect comparatively few (around 5%), some critics argue that Labour would have to impose wider increases in income tax to pay for its program. But as the graph below shows opportunities appear limited. Levels of … Continue reading Income inequality and Labour’s mild tax reforms
Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at this week’s TUC conference, reaffirms Labour’s commitment to changing the balance of power within the labour market. Alongside the repeal of anti-union laws, Corbyn promised to introduce sectional collective bargaining, something that still exists in many European countries despite the decline of traditional industries. There’ll be a ministry for employment rights … Continue reading Labour: the long and the short.
The decision by science charity Wellcome not to go ahead with its plan to trial a 4-day week for 800 head office staff because it would be too 'operationally complex', goes against the evidence ( including a major New Zealand study) that 4-day working, without a loss of pay improves productivity, staff motivation, not to … Continue reading Forward to the 4 day week?
Way back in the 1930s, the economist Keynes raised concerns about what he called ‘technological unemployment’ now referred to as ‘worker displacement’. According to Frey and Osborne’s 2013 Oxford study, as many as 47% of current US jobs are at risk of automation, while a 2016 OECD study estimated the figure at just 9%. The … Continue reading One in twelve jobs at ‘high risk’ from automation