The Workweek: A Round-Up of Labor Market Links for the Week Ending 11/18/16

This week’s labor market news on declining economy dynamism, tightening labor markets and why trucking for a living isn’t what it used to be.

Welcome back to The Workweek, the Indeed Hiring Lab’s round-up of the latest research, news, and perspectives that made us think deeply or differently about the labor market this week. It’s your guide to the most important new insights about work.

Here are our picks for this week, with a special focus on jobs and the working class:

Can Trump Bring Jobs Back?

Donald Trump campaigned on bringing jobs back to hard-hit areas, particularly traditional manufacturing areas. But “manufacturers are seeing relentless pressure, from investors and rival companies, to automate, replacing workers with machines that do not break down or require health benefits and pension plans.” The president can affect trade but has less power to slow the effect of technology that threatens to automate jobs. (New York Times)

What Trump Means for the Working Class

Counter to campaign promises, Trump’s policies might not help the working class or hurt the economic elite much. The post-election jump in the stock market hints that the well-off could do better under Trump. However, the urban poor could be hurt most, as Trump has focused little on anti-poverty measures, including those favored by many Republicans like the Earned Income Tax Credit. (FiveThirtyEight)

Overcoming Myths About the Working Class

This essay explains “class cluelessness,” especially among Democrats in the 2016 campaign. America’s white working class “resents professionals but admires the rich.” Class isn’t just about incomes; it’s also about the work you do, and the working class identifies more with businesspeople than with the “dorky arrogance and smugness of the professional elite.” (Harvard Business Review)

Class Bias in Hiring

A study of law-firm hiring used fake resumes for people with similar qualifications. The study found that men who appeared to have more privileged backgrounds were more likely to get interviews, compared with men who appeared less privileged and compared with women of all backgrounds. How could employers guess applicants’ backgrounds? Extra-curricular activities, for instance, like being on the sailing team. One way to reduce class bias in the hiring process, said the researchers, would be to conceal non-professional activities that might be a clue to someone’s background. (Washington Post)

Maybe Not So Stuck In Place

Economists have worried about the decline in dynamism (or “lost mojo”), as firms are hiring and firing less, and workers are moving and switching jobs less often. But new research finds that the big drop in job-switching is concentrated among young workers, which might even be a good thing if they are finding suitable jobs with less trial-and-error. For people older than 25, there’s been little decline in job-switching. (San Francisco Fed)