Job polarisation and the decline of middle-class workers’ wages
Michael Boehm 08 February 2014
Employment in traditional middle-class jobs has fallen sharply over the last few decades. At the same time, middle-class wages have been stagnant. This column reviews recent research on job polarisation and presents a new study that explicitly links job polarisation with the changes in workers' wages. Job polarisation has a substantial negative effect on middle-skill workers.
The decline of the middle class has come to the forefront of debate in the US and Europe in recent years. This decline has two important components in the labour market. First, the number of well-paid middle-skill jobs in manufacturing and clerical occupations has decreased substantially since the mid-1980s. Second, the relative earnings for workers around the median of the wage distribution dropped over the same period, leaving them with hardly any real wage gains in nearly 30 years.
Labour markets Poverty and income inequality
jobs, middle class, labour, routine and non-routine tasks
A new measure of the global middle class
Shimelse Ali, Uri Dadush 02 June 2012
According to the broadest measure, anyone who is not poor is part of the middle class – that could mean that anyone living on more than $2 a day. This column suggests a more sensible measure: anyone who owns a car. Based on this measure, the global middle class looks quite different.
The swelling middle class in emerging economies is transforming the economic balance of power across the globe. Measuring it, however, is no easy task. The broadest classification of "middle class" suggests the middle class comprises anyone who is not poor, which according to the World Bank means those who earn an income in excess of $2 a day after adjusting for purchasing power (Chen and Ravallion 2010).
Development Poverty and income inequality
development, emerging markets, Global middle class, middle class