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Not Working: Where Have All the Good Jobs Gone?

by David G. Blanchflower Princeton University Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 456 pages
AU$64.99 NZ$67.82
Product Status: Out of stock. Not available to order.
A candid assessment of why the job market is not as healthy we think


Don't trust low unemployment numbers as proof that the labor market is doing fine'it isn't. Not Working is about those who can't find full-time work at a decent wage'the underemployed'and how their plight is contributing to widespread despair, a worsening drug epidemic, and the unchecked rise of right-wing populism.


In this revelatory and outspoken book, David Blanchflower draws on his acclaimed work in the economics of labor and well-being to explain why today's postrecession economy is vastly different from what came before. He calls out our leaders and policymakers for failing to see the Great Recession coming, and for their continued failure to address one of the most unacknowledged social catastrophes of our time. Blanchflower shows how many workers are underemployed or have simply given up trying to find a well-paying job, how wage growth has not returned to prerecession levels despite rosy employment indicators, and how general prosperity has not returned since the crash of 2008.


Standard economic measures are often blind to these forgotten workers, which is why Blanchflower practices the “economics of walking about ”'seeing for himself how ordinary people are faring under the recovery, and taking seriously what they say and do. Not Working is his candid report on how the young and the less skilled are among the worst casualties of underemployment, how immigrants are taking the blame, and how the epidemic of unhappiness and self-destruction will continue to spread unless we deal with it.




"David Blanchflower, a leading labor economist, delivers two trenchant messages in this incisive book. To economists he says: 'look and see,' not 'see and look.' Had they looked at the numbers and not stuck to their theories, they would have seen that a big collapse was coming in 2007. His message to policymakers is 'look at underemployment,' not the headline unemployment figures, to see the slack in the economy. Underemployment'people working less than they want to'explains why, contrary to all past experience, wage inflation has not taken off with the recovery of full employment. A wake-up call to both economists and policymakers."'Robert Skidelsky, University of Warwick, author of John Maynard Keynes and Money and Government
David G. Blanchflower is the Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is the coauthor of The Wage Curve. He lives in Canaan, New Hampshire. Twitter @D_Blanchflower