Saturday 1 November 2014

Saturday, November 01, 2014 Posted by Jake 4 comments Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted by Jake on Saturday, November 01, 2014 with 4 comments | Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

We Britons are an optimistic bunch. The graph below by Glassdoor, a recruitment company, shows we  consistently believe our work colleagues are much more likely to get fired than we are.

Graph by Glassdoor
Is it this native optimism that encourages politicians to cut public services and rip up safety nets for the unemployed and the disabled? Because we are so confident we ourselves won't need them?

If so, our confidence is sorely misplaced. Office for National Statistics figures show how the UK manufacturing industry collapsed between 1979 and 2013, with 60% of all manufacturing jobs disappearing:

If you are heaving a sigh of relief that you aren't employed in manufacturing, hold that sigh!

A study done at Oxford University states that nearly half of all jobs are at a high risk of disappearing over the next two decades due to computerisation.

The colours in the graph represent different occupations:

The graph shows the following occupations with a high (more than 70%) probability of being wiped out: 
  • Office & Administrative Support
  • Sales & Related
  • Service
And shows the following with a high probability of surviving: 
  • Healthcare, Practioners & Technical
  • Education, Legal, Community Service, Arts, and Media
  • Management, Business and Financial
Of course as some occupations are extinguished others are created. However, according to figures by the TUC in the period between 2010 and 2013 nearly eighty percent of net job creation "has taken place in industries where the average wage is less than £7.95 an hour". 
Like slowly boiling a frog in a pan of water, the government hopes to cut adrift those who rely on public services without them noticing it. 

The government knows that with growing inequality more and more people will need public support. Something they would rather cut away before the voters notice.

Most people don't need a hospital today. But most will need a hospital one day, for themselves or their loved ones. Most people don't need an income top-up today in the form of state benefits and pensions, but most will need it one day.

Beware of voting in governments who would give away your rights to public services and support. They are your inherited rights just as much as a landlord has the right to receive rent on his or her inherited properties. 

In a society of growing inequality, once these rights are gone all that will be left is the charity of the unequally wealthy. What you receive by right you will only get by going cap in hand.


  1. Great post (particularly the last cartoon), but I’m not sure you are being fair in your interpretation of the Glassdoor report as meaning that people are deluded about their own job security. Isn't it rational to be more likely to be worried about co-workers being made redundant than to worry about oneself, since one has many co-workers in many roles, but only one self in one particular role. It quite often happens that co-workers jobs are threatened without one’s own job being threatened (e.g. because they are in a different team/have a different role) but it is rare that one’s own job is threatened without at least some co-workers being in the same boat.

    1. Yes, you may well be right. Our central message is people should value public services and welfare even if they don't need them right now, because almost all of us will need them sometime.

  2. Associated Press (AP) report:
    AP IMPACT: Recession, tech kill middle-class jobs
    "NEW YORK (AP) — Five years after the start of the Great Recession, the toll is terrifyingly clear: Millions of middle-class jobs have been lost in developed countries the world over.

    And the situation is even worse than it appears.

    Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market. What's more, these jobs aren't just being lost to China and other developing countries, and they aren't just factory work. Increasingly, jobs are disappearing in the service sector, home to two-thirds of all workers.

    They're being obliterated by technology."

  3. The media and the political elites persist in a basic misunderstanding about how the sovereign banking works. Until they all start telling the truth and seeing it for what it is we will get nowhere as a country fit for us all to live in.


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