The Workweek: Jan. 10, 2017

This week’s Workweek picks include a story by the Economist discussing how manufacturing jobs are a shrinking share of employment in the U.S. and large European countries, the reasons behind the decline, and the strategies proposed to solve the problem. An article from the New York Times explores what is keeping men from looking at women’s jobs, even as traditionally male jobs disappear, and possible solutions. FiveThirtyEight examines the dozens of minimum wage increases across states and localities, predicting a lot of research about the effects in the coming years. Another New York Timesarticle looks at a new French law requiring employers establish “right-to-disconnect” rules so that employees aren’t expected to respond during off-hours.

In addition, numerous proposals and experiments are bubbling up to examine the concept of a “universal basic income,” a fixed payment to all citizens. A debate rages about whether a basic income will further devalue work and leave people with less of a sense of purpose, or whether a basic income could be structured to provide a greater incentive to work than today’s social welfare programs.

The Workweek is a weekly roundup written mostly by’s chief economist Jed Kolko that highlights the latest research, news, and perspectives around the labor market. In addition to working with Indeed, Jed also pulled together all the research and data for the Shift Commission.


Kristin Sharp directs New America's Initiative on Work, Workers, and Technology. In 2016, she co-founded and ran Shift: The Commission on Work, Workers, and Technology, a joint project of New America and Bloomberg.