Hacker News article HackerNews contributor Matt Sperry has some thoughts on when the “crisis” of work will end.
He points to a quote from a 2013 study from the International Labour Organization (ILO), which states that “[a]n increase in the number of hours worked in the US will not reduce employment.”
He argues that this statement is an outdated one and that the labor market is “highly mobile.”
He also points out that most jobs will not be lost as a result of a reduction in work hours.
He argues instead that “it will be much easier for companies to recruit workers who will work less.”
According to Sperrie, it is not necessarily a bad thing if work hours are reduced, as long as it is done in a way that is efficient and that benefits the employee.
He writes that “the more work, the more pay.”
Sperries points out the example of the “job creator” that he thinks will benefit most from a reduction of work hours, which would be a “job for everybody.”
Spermny, an economist and director of the University of Chicago’s Business School, has similar thoughts, writing that “there is no shortage of potential jobs that could be created through an increased productivity, especially when it comes to digital technology.”
He writes, “The problem with the job creator is that it is more efficient to create new jobs through automation than it is to make people redundant.”
Semeny, who is also the chair of the research group on the labor supply and demand in the United States, argues that the United Kingdom is in a different situation than the United State.
He explains that the UK has a large workforce, but “the problem is that there is an imbalance in the distribution of labour.”
For example, there are more women working in the public sector than men.
In addition, women are much less likely to take jobs that are traditionally held by men, such as nurses, doctors, and teachers.
This is partly due to the fact that women are less likely than men to enter professions that are dominated by men.
The result is that women earn less than men in these traditionally male occupations, Semenysays.
“The UK workforce is also more evenly distributed than in the U.S. This means that there are fewer male jobs in the UK than in other Western countries, and therefore more female jobs in Britain,” Semeniysays, who has worked at the UAW and other unions, wrote.
Semenry points out one of the reasons for this imbalance is that men tend to hold a disproportionate share of senior management positions, and that “many of these jobs are highly skilled.”
He explains how the UK’s gender pay gap has increased since the recession.
“Many of these new positions were created during the Great Recession, but since the Great Brexit the gender pay differential has not increased.
There are more than 4,000 new jobs created each week in the City of London, compared to 4,400 in March 2015,” Semanysays writes.
“This is despite the fact the average hourly pay of all UK employees rose by 1.7% between 2015 and 2020.
The gap is widening at a faster rate than at any time in the last 50 years.”
Semany argues that, although a reduction from 30 hours per week to 30 is an improvement, the UK still has a long way to go before the gender wage gap is no longer a problem.
“It is important to note that the gender gap has not closed completely and will continue to widen.
The average gender pay of men and women in the top 10% of UK employers has been in the same range since 2014,” he writes.
He believes that, as a nation, we need to be “more ambitious about the types of jobs that our workforce is most suited to.”
He adds that we need “to encourage more women to take on leadership roles in the private sector and to create more diverse, creative, and highly skilled jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).”
In other words, Semanry argues that we must “work harder to make sure that women and men can thrive in the workplace.”
He concludes by saying that “I believe the UK is in the best position to take advantage of this opportunity to create jobs that meet the needs of the 21st century workforce.”
The author would like to thank Semenny for providing this invaluable insight and for sharing it with us.
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