Archive forlabor markets

Labour Falls, Price Rises

Following Brexit,The UK is currently having less food choice and higher food prices because the supply curve is moving to leftwards and upwards while the demand curve is moving rightwards and upwards.

Many food and drink association have claimed that EU workers, who play an important role in the supply chain, are already leaving because they are ambiguously assured about their right to remain in the UK. The EU workers are only one-third of the number of workers in the industry, but they are generally skillful and high quality workers. They are also highly flexible and can provide the UK with a large number of skilled, semi-skilled and even unskilled labour in the long-term. EU workers  possess a lot of skills that cannot be found in UK workers. It is very often that companies have to look into the Europe continent for food engineers and skill labour; farms also rely on unskilled workers coming from other parts of the EU. Not enough graduates are coming through from UK universities, argued Nestle chair Dame Fiona Kendrick, who is also president of the Food and Drink Federation. She even said that, “We just can’t find the people in the UK to do the jobs,”

With Brexit and its subsequent fall of the value of the pound, the UK’s economy in general and the food security in specific are at risk as trade associations have warned. Thus, this industry’s importance should be as equally considered and recognised by the government as financial or automotive sectors, for the sake of the UK’s “economic and physical wellbeing”.

While there is this problem in the food industry, the Home Office, in respone, said the UK government needs and is trying to diliver a fair and controlled immigration policy and wants to see the net immigration to the UK fall down to sustainable levels while making sure that all voices are heard. Still, it is a very complex issue.



A New Era for Unions

It is now a different world for unions: In 2013, American union memberships marked a all-time low in 96 years. Not just in the United States, unions in countries such as Germany and Japan are also facing similar struggles. One of the reasons that cause this decrease is costs. Union dues have to be high enough to cover fixed costs; workers today do not make that much money. More importantly, workers expect value in return to their contributions. However, since 1995, the wage premium for British union members have fallen from 26% to 18%. The general shift in labor market from manufacturing to service is also another blow at unions. Service workers are easy to replace and find second jobs, while workers with specific skills are not. In other words, hot-in-demand labor force such as computer programmers and hotel workers are not as desperate for union’s help as are coal miners.

Unions, Inc.


Lost jobs may never return.

labor and unemployment is a hot button topic in the United States. An article in the Wall street journal discuss the results of factory job loss in the United States. Could the Jobs that we have already lost be brought back? Labor markets are a case of supply and demand. When the price of labor rises companies lose profit as they must pay more for the same amount of labor. Companies have only a few options then, reduce the number of workers in their factories and lose production and profit, replace workers with automated labor, or move to a country where labor cost is cheaper. Most companies will choose the option which will allow them to make the most money. This results in many companies moving to cheaper labor and the loss of U.S Jobs. Many Economists feel that even with the focus on bringing jobs back to the U.S economy, most of the jobs that have already left have gone for good because the price of labor in the US is still high.


By drawing 50 ‘states’ according to income, study reveals ‘developing countries’ within the U.S.

This article talks to the inconsistency of incomes across states. Some states have median incomes in the 20000s while other have them in the 80000s! This article equates this uneven development within this country to like having developing countries within the USA.

This relates to our recent topic of Labor Markets. Because of demand or supply in certain states, wages are lower there than they are in other states, causing these drastic statistics of uneven development throughout one country.

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Automation and jobs

In class, we discussed how automation explains more of the loss of jobs in manufacturing than does off-shoring because US manufacturing output has increased at the same time employment in manufacturing has decreased. This article from the Brookings Institution argues that overall automation and new technology have not decreased the number of jobs. Automation has changed the composition of labor market demand away from low skilled labor and towards high skilled labor.

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