Stunningly amazing finding from the TUC

Some unskilled and semi-skilled jobs now pay little more in real terms – and in some cases less – than they did in the late 1970s.

Blimey, technological change alters wage patterns, eh?

Just what are buggy whip manufacturers\’ wages these days?


6 thoughts on “Stunningly amazing finding from the TUC”

  1. oh come off it – the UK workforce contains millions of unskilled and semiskilled workers. It’s bloody big news if a large proportion of UK households haven’t got any better off in 3 decades.

    what is the economy for, if not to benefit the people? If a big slice of people aren’t seeing the benefits, all that growth celebrated in the Vox article about the Thatcher curing the British disease that you cite, might not be such an achievement.

    Why should people support the prevailing social and economic order if it isn’t delivering the goods for them? If you’re trying to sell free-market capitalism, what comfort is it to these people that “technological change” explains their fate?

    and you don’t know that “technological change” is responsible for this – there have been changes in labour legislation, unionisation, changes in the operation of financial and capital markets, globalisation etc. etc.

  2. There is something wrong Tim, if it is correct. Growth is supposed to make everything cheaper in real terms. That’s how it works. Not wage rises, price cuts.

    So if wages aren’t getting worth more, something is amiss. That’s basic free market economics.

    FWIW, I strongly, for anecdotal reasons, believe this is the case. Wealth in terms of goods and services isn’t growing for most people; except in the tech arena which has been slashing prices faster than the financial services sector could inflate them. But should we cheer the cheap computer when nobody can afford a house?

    The economy is very sick. It’s not a market thing, but it might well be a lack-of-a-market thing. A healthy economy sure as shit doesn’t have static or falling real-value wages, does it?

  3. I guess one way to look at it would be to say, “if this really is capitalism, we may as well have socialism. At least that way I’ll be sure of a house, healthcare, and basic food.”

    I mean, we don’t seem to have any wealth. We haven’t got any liberty. We don’t even seem to have much hope for the future. May as well vote for the commies, then.

  4. the UK workforce contains millions of unskilled and semiskilled workers

    The report says “some”, not “all”. The obvious question would be “Which?”.

  5. “The report says “some”, not “all”. The obvious question would be “Which?”.

    The idiots, like me, who’ve paid for the education of the expats, like you.

    Tim W,

    “technological change alters wage patterns”

    Not in this case. Much more likely to be a billion Chinese coming on to the labour market. Quite the reverse of technological change, in fact, the availablity of cheap labour rendering technological development uneconomic. Archimedes designed what is believed would have been a working steam engine, but it cost far more to build than have the slaves do the heavy lifting.

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