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
Nissan’s decision to move producing the X-Trail from its Sunderland plant to Japan has undoubtedly been caused by fears over Brexit. In particular, the recently negotiated free-trade deal between Japan and the EU might result in Nissan’s complete departure from the UK with a catastrophic effect on the Sunderland area. Nissan has been there since … Continue reading Nissan: is it still the age of the car?
Latest labour market figures (ONS Jan 2019) show continued growth in employment. There were 32.53 million people in work, 328,000 more than a year earlier. The number of self-employed people has increased by 81,000 to 4.85 million since this time last year and now represents 14.9% of all workers – up by around a million … Continue reading White van economy?
Notes accompanying presentation to Ferndale branch, Vauxhall Labour Party (17/01/19). Labour’s policies for the economy not only represent a clear alternative to the Tories, but are also significantly different to those of the Blair/Brown years. Representing a return to the centre-left ‘interventionist’ social democracy of the post-war years, they will encounter (the usual) opposition … Continue reading ‘An Economy that Works for all’
The countdown to Brexit has seen a 15% fall in the number of Eastern European workers residing in the UK - in all 154,000 fewer than for July to September 2017 and 173,000 fewer than the record high of 1.05 million for July to September 2016. This decline comes at a time when vacancies, after … Continue reading Eastern European workers vote with their feet
Phillip Hammond’s budget remains firmly located within Neo-liberal economics. The principle aim is to reduce and finally eliminate the budget deficit and so lower the size of the National Debt. For the Neo-liberals public debt is a drag on the ‘real’ economy as it suffocates the private sector. But under pressure from Labour, some of … Continue reading Budgets and the ‘magic money tree’
Seems a bit silly. Or is it? Modern Monetary Theory reminds us that governments of countries that have their own currencies and floating exchange rates (like in the UK), by implication, can never 'run out of money' or have to be dependent on taxation revenue and private borrowing to finance their activities. In other … Continue reading There is a ‘magic money tree’
Published ten years after the financial crisis and comprising articles by contributors to Labour’s New Economics conferences, Economics for the Many provides a set of alternatives to Tory austerity. It addresses issues from public ownership, to rising consumer debt, control of the banks, tax avoidance and the need for a Green New Deal. A book … Continue reading A definite read
John McDonnell’s Labour Conference commitment to put workers on company boards was met with predictable hostility from employer representatives. Yet Germany, the Scandinavian countries along with several other European states, have long standing policies for employee participation, even if it might not be as extensive (McDonnell proposes 30% representation). Likewise, allocating a proportion of company … Continue reading Putting workers on the boards
In the context of this week’s report from the Migration Advisory Committee (set up to advise on immigration policy post-Brexit), it’s worth outlining the nature of European migration to the UK and the implications of the MAC proposals. By the end of 2016 there were 2.2 million working EU migrants -7% of the labour force. … Continue reading Post-Brexit immigration and skills policy