Recently in Labor Markets Category

The Job for Anybody?

Hey! Isn't this what we're supposed to say about the service economy?

American youth see manufacturing as a one-way career track toward poor wages....

Keith McKee, the director of the Manufacturing Productivity Center at the Illinois Institute of Technology, offers another compelling reason: for a long time now, manufacturing has sold itself as the job for anybody, regardless of intelligence.

"This mystique has come about and it isn't a good thing," McKee says. "Manufacturers have done themselves a great disservice because for a long time, they kept saying they could hire almost anybody. Most of those people will never become skilled workers because they're dumb as rocks. If you take a rock and train it, it's still just a rock."

--"Old Myths, New Realities", Tooling & Production, August 2008, pp.56-60. [not yet online]


I was reading this SI piece by John Ondrasik where I ran across this interesting tidbit:

One of DD's duties is to patrol the American/Cuban border fence here. The NE Gate which was a transit point for Americans and Cuban base workers pre-Castro. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Castro forbade Cuban citizens to work at Gitmo with the exception of 300 who were already employed at the base. Today only three of the 300 are left, crossing through the NE gate daily
Via Instapundit

Some Interesting Comments

Glenn points to a U.S. News item which offers some economists predictions for the coming years labor market. Go check it out for yourself as I'm kind of lazy right now to quote any of it. I'll add that while I'm not a forecaster this outcome would follow a similar pattern to last decade. That is growth slowed following rate increases but then reaccelerated after they were absorbed. The good news is that I dont think we'll see a wave of currency crisis like we did in the late 90's. Asia has enough reserves and countries who don't aren't important enough in the world economy. It was the tech boom which overshadowed the poor performance in the rest of the economy during the late 90's.

My hope is that a tight labor market can enable some trade legislation to pass and also to ease restrictions on immigration(I have a great idea for an immigration model, but that will have to wait). The latter is possible under the current congress. The former will most likely have to wait until Republicans retake congress. Let's hope Bush pulls his head out of his ass and wins this damn war.

Danish Flexicurity Model

Latest IMF Survey summarizes the features of the Danish Flexicurity model of its labour market - a uniquely Danish blend of a flexible labour market, generous social security and an active labour-market policies;

Labor market flexibility. Measured by how restrictive employment protection legislation is, the Danish labor market is more flexible than that in many other European countries. In practice, this means that Danish employers, both in the public and private sectors, can lay off workers rather easily. This is not a novel aspect of the Danish social system— protection against dismissal has historically been low, a feature that has been linked to the country’s openness and its many small and medium-sized enterprises.

An extensive social safety net. Danes enjoy a high level of social protection, including generous unemployment benefits. The average net replacement rate (what people receive from the state when they lose their jobs, calculated as a percentage of their salary) is about 80 percent, among the highest in Europe.

Active labor market policies. A large variety of labor market programs facilitate and encourage reintegration of the unemployed into the labor market. But these programs are expensive. As a result, Denmark is at the top in terms of its per capita spending on labor market programs.


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