City Talks

City Talks: David Blanchflower on where all the good jobs have gone

Current low unemployment figures are taken as proof that the labour market is doing well, however, in this episode of City Talks, Professor Blanchflower points out that many workers are in fact under-employed or have given up trying to find a well-paid job

Podcast published on 13 June 2019

In this episode of City Talks, Andrew Carter is joined by David Blanchflower, a well-known British-American economist, a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (his time there coinciding with the Great Recession) and an economics professor at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. His new book, entitled Not Working: Where Have All the Good Jobs Gone? is the subject of this podcast.

Policymakers, central banks and some economists around the world assume that the current low unemployment figures are proof that the labour market is doing well. However, in this discussion, Professor Blanchflower points out that, despite the rosy employment indicators, many workers are in fact under-employed or have simply given up trying to find a well-paying job. He notes that wage growth has not returned to pre-recession levels and links the unchecked rise of right-wing populism in both Europe and America to the fact that many people have not been able to get the quality of jobs that their fathers and grandfathers did before them.

‘Good jobs’ is a very live issue in Britain in particular, where low-quality employment has risen but real earnings haven’t climbed, and, as Professor Blanchflower highlights, are in fact 6% lower than they were in 2008.

Among potential policy solutions, he demonstrates that raising the minimum wage (another topical issue in Britain) has positive effects on both employment and productivity.

This episode is part of the Centre for Cities City Talks series. Please rate, review and share the episode if you enjoyed it.

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