There is a specter haunting advanced industrial countries: structural unemployment. Recent years have seen growing concern over declining jobs, and though corporate profits have picked up after the Great Recession of 2008, jobs have not. It is possible that jobless recoveries could become a permanent feature of Western economies. This illuminating book focuses on the employment futures of advanced industrial countries, providing readers with the sociological imagination to appreciate the bigger picture of where workers fit in the new international division of labor. The authors piece together a puzzle that reveals deep structural forces underlying unemployment: skills mismatches caused by a shift from manufacturing to service jobs; increased offshoring in search of lower wages; the rise of advanced communication and automated technologies; and the growing financialization of the global economy that aggravates all of these factors. Weaving together varied literatures and data, the authors also consider what actions and policy initiatives societies might take to alleviate these threats.
Addressing a problem that should be front and center for political economists and policymakers, this book will be illuminating reading for students of the sociology of work, labor studies, inequality, and economic sociology.
Publisher: Polity Press