“Labour” are people – not pawns on a chess board

The Conversation looks at a new report from the Productivity Commission on labour mobility.

In the article, I commented that the polarisation in the labour market between ‘good’ jobs and ‘bad’ jobs  makes it hard for people to move around for jobs. Why would you leave your home, your family, your community for a casual or contract job in the city?  How could you afford to? Why would you take the risk?

Business and government need to understand that problems of insufficient labour mobility are strongly associated with the decline of secure jobs that would enable an individual to re-establish themselves for the long term in a new location. Jobs growth is concentrated in casual, contract and fixed term employment as documented in a report commissioned by the ACTU last year – and, of course, the subject of my own research. 

The disturbing report of the ILO onGlobal Employment Trends 2013 discusses in considerable depth the decline of middle level jobs following the GFC in many developed countries. As I argued in the Conversation prior to the election, debate on the need for middle level, middle class jobs growth was and is sadly lacking. The demise of the car industry, which has come to fruition in the last couple of days, will mean the further loss of such middle level jobs.

Please find my comments in The New Daily about the Great Australian Dream.


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