Is America working?

My latest post at Pieria looks at labour market trends in the United States. Male employment is declining, and has been for half a century. But does that justify the claim that there is something fundamentally unhealthy in the American labour market? Is it really true to say "America isn't working"?

Read the article here.


  1. Brick Says

    I think Tim has dusted off some pretty horrible stereotypes in his post.Less willing to get off the couch, forcing the disabled to work while young able bodied people cannot get a job, the epidemic of idleness.
    While I agree with you for taking issue with the Tim's post I dont find myself quite in agreement about root causes. I don't think the employment gender gap for production and services industries has really been apparent in the last decade (before that certainly), (Notable exceptions being Construction, Mining/Oil, IT, Health Care and Education). I just dont buy into the globalization theme causing a switch to services and favouring female employment entirely. Personalling I think the decline of smaller firms in favour of larger ones has had an impact on employment. Larger firms tend to like precise planning, rigid structures, defined processes and concensus of views while smaller firms favour more flexibility and distributed responsibility. It may be down to gender personality bias as to which of those environments you are most likely to succeed in. The bias towards larger firms may be acting to suppress wages generally as well.

    So something unhealthy in the relationship between big business and politics which acts to undermine wage growth for all sexes.

    1. Brick,

      there is empirical evidence for all of these:

      - employment gender gap remaining pretty static in the US for the last decade (not in Europe, though, where it continued to close)
      - Chinese labour dump (read the link in the post)
      - general move towards employment in services, not only in the West but now in China too. No reduction in production output, but reduction in production jobs.
      - there is no decline of smaller firms. On the contrary, there is a considerable increase in smaller firms, microbusinessses and self-employment.

      Oh, and it's David's post, not Tim's.


      However, I don't disagree with your final paragraph.


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