The Workweek: A Round-Up of Labor Market Links for the Week Ending 12/9/16

This week’s labor market news on the fate of blue collar workers and tax on robots

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:

Labor Secretary Puzder

President-elect Trump is likely to select Andrew Puzder, CEO of the company that owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, to head the U.S. Department of Labor. On the issues: Puzder argued against an expansion of worker eligibility for overtime pay; considers the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) a “failure”; favors keeping the minimum wage low for entry-level workers; and has said that “legal immigrants are an asset to the country.” (Wall Street Journal)

Not Doing Better Than Your Parents

A new study finds that just half of people born in the 1980s are richer at age 30 than their parents were at that age, while people born in earlier decades were much more likely to outearn their own parents. This decline in economic mobility is partly due to slower overall economic growth but primarily due to rising inequality. The drop in mobility has been steepest for the middle class and in the Midwest. (Equality of Opportunity Project)

Girly Jobs for Manly Men

Many of the fastest-growing sectors are disproportionately female, like education and health services, while manufacturing is disproportionately male and losing jobs. One solution is for men to take jobs in traditionally female occupations, as the economy shifts toward jobs that require “less strength and more kindness.” (Bloomberg View)

Dealing with European Unemployment

This research review points to the success of both “cyclical” policies that help get unemployment down to long-term averages and “structural” policies that could lower the long-term average itself. While structural policies like labor-market reforms can work, they take time and are at risk of being reversed. Political resistance to migration within and into Europe could hurt Europe economically. (VOXEU)

Goodbye, Home Office?

Just as more workplaces have open, flexible spaces where you can be productive, so do homes. If all you need is a laptop, you can work from the couch, in bed, or in the backyard— rather than from a room that’s a dedicated home office. Fewer real estate listings mention a home office than in the past. Still, one benefit of the home office persists: for people who have their own business, it can be a valuable tax deduction. (Bloomberg)