The way we work now is changing rapidly: Self-employment is up, workers are putting their own money into what once would have been company purchases, and there’s endless chatter about the future of robot labour transforming the landscape.
On the first big shift, the Office for National Statistics data released Wednesday shows that self-employed people in the UK increased by 30,000 to 4.55m for July to September compared to the same period a year ago.
From ONS: Read more
This man is in charge of China. Like, really in charge:
And he wants to make sure everyone he’s in charge of remains nice and calm. So he’d like them kept busy. That, for the most part, means they should be working — call it a social compact or call it a security measure, it doesn’t really matter. Read more
ROBOTS! AUTOMATONS! CYBORGS! ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE! ARGHH!!!
Last weekend I attended Robots on Tour, a robotics, humanoids and cyborg exhibition put together by the Zurich-based Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Zurich. Read more
In Part 1, we looked at the Futuretrack data that showed female graduates in the UK earning less than their male colleagues. This appears to hold even when graduates did the same degree, went to a similar university, and so on. It is particularly concerning to see data that show women start out on lower pay, given the potential knock-on effects for one’s future earnings.
In this post, we move on to look at a few academic studies about why this might be, particularly around pay negotiation. Read more
Hurrah, it’s International Women’s Day! Time for a bunch of reports informing us of much less we earn than men! Aren’t you excited?
- Sample data finds that women aren’t paid as highly as men, while holding various factors constant.
- Off into the tumbleweeds of academic studies that try to determine why.
- A pundit in question writes about it. (Why, hello…)
If increased proportions of older workers are squeezing out some of the younger would-be workers there could be a significant downside in the longer term — ironically, due to the ageing population. Read more
Today’s China flash PMIs have been a little challenging to unpick. Inventories are down and input and output prices are up — but order backlogs are down, and so is employment, which HSBC notes is contracting at a faster rate. So the mountains of inventory are shrinking and price deflation (against trend) is no longer happening… but employment is down? Read more
From Steven Englander at Citi — a little observed factoid regarding employment trends among the older demographic:
We are taking one small slice at this subject, starting with the little noticed fact that employment to population ratios among older individuals have gone up in recent years, in contrast to the so-called prime-aged 25-54 cohort, where employment to population is much lower than earlier. Figure 1 shows the percentage point change in the employment to population for the three age groups since 2007. Read more
The minutes to the Bank of England’s September meeting are out, and we can’t help being drawn to the following comments about the UK’s labour productivity puzzle (our emphasis):
The labour market had remained surprisingly resilient in the face of the contraction in activity. The unemployment rate had fallen to 8% in the second quarter, its lowest level for around a year, and employment was estimated to have risen by more than 200,000, with a rise in permanent employees accounting for more than half the increase. Read more
Increasing unemployment disproportionately affects the young. While policymakers have been pre-occupied with sovereign and financial crises, the generation with no actual experience of holding down a job just had to wait. For how long will this spectre haunt economies?
Using statistics from the European Union Labour Force Survey for January 2012 (but November 2011 for Greece), the UBS Global Macro Team gives us the following headline unemployment rates in a note released earlier this week: Read more
We found a couple of items from a Credit Suisse note commenting on Friday’s jobs report to be interesting and worth discussing in some detail.
First is a bit of commentary explaining that a higher number of unemployed have dropped out of the labour force since 2009 than have found new jobs. This has undone a long-term historical relationship. Read more
Europe must grow its way out of this slump! It’s not enough to bail out profligate sovereigns and banks! Capital must be deployed to SMEs! Youth unemployment must be tackled! Fiscal discipline is not enough on its own!
all engine s!! Read more
The latest ADP numbers for private sector jobs in the US have demolished expectations: 325k jobs were created November-December against estimates that ranged from +145k to +225k.
Job creation across the world is set to slow sharply in the last three months of the year, as companies plan to scale back their hiring plans in response to the stuttering global economy, according to a leading survey of employers, the FT reports. The Employment Outlook survey, due to be released on Tuesday by ManpowerGroup, the global recruiting company, will be unwelcome news for policymakers, who are struggling to bring down stubbornly high unemployment rates. The survey indicates that employers intend to cut the rate of hiring from the third quarter or keep it stable in 32 of the 39 countries for which there are comparable data. Employers in India and Turkey plan to reduce the pace of job-creation the most, but hiring is also expected to slow in a slew of the world’s biggest economies, including the US, the UK, France, Italy, China, Canada, Mexico and Australia.
There is a bit of a debate developing regarding Wednesday’s employment data and in particular the significant increase in the claimant count.
For example, FT Alphaville quoted Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight saying: Read more
This is what a collective sigh of relief in the for-profit college sector looks like:
The Everest for-profit education network says of a decision to attend one of its colleges: “It’s a decision that deserves respect.”
Perhaps — but it’s definitely risky. Read more
Nonfarm payrolls likely grew by 145,000 in January, following December’s 103,000 gain — but recent snowstorms may throw the figures and jobless rates probably increased, according to Reuters’ survey of economists. The edging up of the jobless rate to 9.5 per cent from 9.4 per cent would do little to dissuade the Federal Reserve from ending quantitative easing too early. Bloomberg’s collation of forecasts ranges from a 5,000 decrease to a gain of 230,000.
The cyclical vs structural debate raised a lot of heat and not a great deal of light during the summer. But in the last week or so wise minds have returned to the issue.
In a syndicated column, Raghuram Rajan cited research that ostensibly suggested the demise of housing-related jobs represents a structural break in the US labour market: Read more
Hiring in the US and half a dozen other leading economies will increase for the first time in more than two years during the first quarter of 2011, the FT reports citing data released on Monday by a global recruiting firm. The Employment Outlook Survey – used by the Bank of England and Wall Street as an economic indicator – shows plans are stable or improving throughout the G7 economies. The US forecast is the most positive outlook since the first three months of 2008. There is one massive exception looming, however. The WSJ reports that multinational companies are preparing for a months-long slump in a Europe beset by the debt crisis. Technology companies reliant on government contracts are particularly vulnerable, with Cisco and Dell cautious.
Here’s some more context on Wednesday’s $600bn QE2 announcement from err, the chairman of the Federal Reserve. From a Washington Post Op/Ed:
Notwithstanding the progress that has been made, when the Fed’s monetary policymaking committee – the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) – met this week to review the economic situation, we could hardly be satisfied. The Federal Reserve’s objectives – its dual mandate, set by Congress – are to promote a high level of employment and low, stable inflation. Unfortunately, the job market remains quite weak; the national unemployment rate is nearly 10 percent, a large number of people can find only part-time work, and a substantial fraction of the unemployed have been out of work six months or longer. The heavy costs of unemployment include intense strains on family finances, more foreclosures and the loss of job skills. Read more
Guess the jobless number from Friday’s US non-farm payrolls report. Read more
…and so the Bank of England’s Quarterly Bulletin landed on our desktops with a thump on Monday. And yes, it brought with it a little bit of a mystery over the uncertain recovery of the UK’s labour markets, as the FT reported — but also a few more brief glimmers of an exit strategy for the Bank’s liquidity operations.
As far as the post-recession labour figures are concerned, ‘considerable uncertainty’ is indeed the main catchphrase to take from Renato Faccini and Christopher Hackworth’s paper. Here’s the meat: Read more
Yep, the UK claimant count unexpectedly rose in January. In fact it was the biggest rise since July.
From the Office of National Statistics on Wednesday: Read more
Here are three distinct points of view to ponder when it comes to the outlook for the US recovery.
First, the prospect of a jobless recovery — that is, one which doesn’t produce growth in employment. From the Wall Street Journal: Read more
Weak demand from battered consumers will be a “major constraint” on the US economy for the foreseeable future, key White House adviser Lawrence Summers said on Monday. Mr Summers, the director of the National Economic Council, has been banging the drum for the $787bn stimulus package in the face of Republican criticism that it is not creating the jobs it promised, the FT said. Meanwhile, the WSJ reported the Obama administration shelved a plan to raise more than $200bn in new taxes on multinational companies after a blitz of complaints from businesses.
US companies cut more jobs than forecast in June, according to data released by ADP Employer Services on Wednesday.
The ADP jobs report showed a drop of 473,000 private sector jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis from May to June, compared with expectations for a decline of 395,000, according to economists polled by Bloomberg. Read more
Make lemonade! That’s what Bloomberg’s done in its report of the latest US payroll figures:
EcononomPic data notes that April 28 marked the 46th anniversary of “Equal Pay Day” in the US, which commemorates the day President John F Kennedy signed the Equal Pay act into law.
The Equal Pay Act requires that, Read more