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The Causes of Structural Unemployment: Four Factors that Keep People from the Jobs they Deserve

ISBN: 978-0-7456-7027-0
96 pages
May 2014, Polity
The Causes of Structural Unemployment: Four Factors that Keep People from the Jobs they Deserve (074567027X) cover image
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.
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Thomas Janoski is Professor of Sociology at the University of Kentucky
Christopher Oliver is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Kentucky
David Luke is Research Assistant at the University of Kentucky
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''The authors deftly integrate sociological, political, and economic perspectives to highlight the major changes in the structure of labor markets that are responsible for the upsurge in the structural unemployment and economic inequality that haunt the contemporary United States.''
Arne L. Kalleberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

''The Causes of Structural Employment is a comprehensive look at the causes of long-term structural unemployment in affluent industrialized nations. It combines and illustrates how individual biographies are tied up to larger social and economic processes - how the single-minded focus on shareholder value and market manipulations destroys the labor market for good jobs.''
Kevin T. Leicht, University of Iowa

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