ESRI Seminar: “Job Polarisation and Progression from Entry Level Jobs”

May 11, 2017 4:00 PM

Guest Speaker: Steve McIntosh, University of Sheffield

Venue: ESRI, Whitaker Square, Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2

A growing literature has repeatedly observed the phenomenon of job polarisation in labour markets, across a range of countries and time periods. This phenomenon involves a fall in the share of intermediate-level jobs and a corresponding growth in the share of both low-skilled and high-skilled jobs. In this paper, I document the extent of job polarisation for recent decades in the UK. I then investigate the extent to which the reduction in availability of intermediate-level jobs has reduced the opportunities to progress from entry-level jobs. The results show little evidence in support of such a hypothesis.  To try to explain this, I look at the tasks involved in jobs, and take into account the ‘typical’ job to which individuals usually progress from each current job. The task-biased technological change explanation for polarisation suggests that it is routine tasks that are most likely to be computerised and so lead to falling job opportunities. However, the results show that being in involved in manual work is the key determinant of a lack of progression from entry level jobs, rather than the normal progression route involving routine tasks.

There is no fee for this event but please register your attendance at this link. 

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