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DN Debate. The myth about jobbpolarisering fattens growing populism

According to a widespread notion, polarize the labour market right now at a rapid pace: good job in the interlayer is about to disappear, whilst both the best and the worst jobs will be more. It is assumed to be the digitization: it turns out medelkvalificerade jobs but not jobs at the higher and lower level. Broad groups within the medelklassyrken is assumed to be on the verge of losing their footing, at work and in society.

This theory of jobbpolarisering was formulated by the american and british researchers in the early 2000s and has spread to many countries. In Sweden, too, the thesis about the middle erosion has taken hold as an accurate description of working life development. Many research projects, investigations and policy proposals emanating from this image as an established truth. But as the think tank Arena Idea can show in the report ”Polariseringsmyten – actually reduce the medelkvalificerade jobs?” , rests polariseringstesen on a weak foundation. To the middle of the jobbstrukturen eroded is simply not true.

and taking out the bucket, or business casual with a sigh, packing up his accounts and leave the desktop to take care of the dirty disk while both glumly thinking about how to get the economy to move together after their pay cuts. But so is the reality not out.

the difference between the job that shrinks from the growing is not qualifications, but könssammansättningen.

Our analysis shows that what actually happened is less dramatic – at least from a class perspective. The transformation is not just about class but also of gender. In the large area of jobbstrukturen which is located between the middle and the lower layer has a turn-over occurred: the number of factory workers, lagerassistenter, postmen and lorry drivers – the majority of which with a relatively simple but still decent paid job has decreased, while the number of nurses, hemvårdare, chefs and shop – with a mix of simple and more skilled but slightly lower paid duties – has increased.

male-Dominated jobs have a clear lönepremie (they are better paid than women on the same qualification level), therefore, seems to jobbstrukturen grow at the bottom when the female-dominated jobs are growing. But kvalifikationsmässigt go movement not downwards but sideways. A basic problem with polariseringsforskningen is that it usually measures the level of qualification required by the job wage level. It is a method easily leads to erroneous conclusions because the level of wages not only reflect the qualification, but also other factors, such as the genusnormer. Therefore, the need for a salary independent measure of the qualification.

In our report, we use the training requirements of such a measure. It is clear that kvinnojobben often have lower wages, but to be less qualified, which should not come as a novelty for many. However, it is probably a novelty for many of the least qualified jobs do not become more – either among men or women, and not during any part of the long period from the 1970s to the present day.

Link to the graphics

the Electrician has not become a caretaker bokföringskontoristen has not been cleaners. Rather seems to trucker have become a chef, and the machine operator have become a nursing assistant. This type of transformation is not unimportant, but can hardly be described as polarization.

, while the increase of the number of persons engaged in the care and service the reverse is concentrated to the most qualified (but not always well-paid) jobs. Jobbstrukturen has thus been upgraded in both its upper and lower part. This speaks strongly against polariseringstesen.

To call the trend of ”polarization” is based implicitly on an old-fashioned approach, where the men work in the manufacturing industry, and to some extent, even women at the office be seen as more qualified than female-dominated jobs within the care and service. Then, a deterioration perceived to occur at the transition from the older to the newer tasks. This outdated perspective is reflected in the persistence of the pay gap based on traditional power relationships and genusnormer. But these are about to change and the analysis of the development is facilitated not to call könslönegapet of polarization.

Why is it important to polariseringsmyten spräcks? We see three compelling reasons.

1 Jobbpolitiken. Even if the upgrade of the jobbstrukturen as our report shows is positive in many ways, it also has a downside. The declining number of jobs with low qualification requirements impairs the prospects for the social marginalgrupper: young people, newly arrived, foreign-born, low-skilled workers. If the proportion of low-skilled jobs is increasing, which polariseringstesen claim, it can be perceived as less urgent need to create more entry jobs – of course, with decent working conditions and decent wages – such as the etableringsjobb and other kinds of anställningssubventioner.

2 Education and training. the purposes of future estimates for the labour market affects both individuals ' educational choices as utbildningspolitikens design. If the middle of the jobbstrukturen perceived decrease significantly in size, it becomes less relevant for both the individual and society to invest in mid-training, especially vocational programmes at the upper secondary school. If, however, mittenskiktet will remain large for the foreseeable future, with only moderate declines, is moderate training with career options is highly relevant also in the future, and recruitment to these should be a high priority.

3 growing populism and inequality. Both polariseringsforskningen and populism is strongly related to gender. As we have shown based the thesis of a polarization of the jobbstrukturen to male-dominated professions are seen as better jobs than those dominated by women. This approach is not only factually incorrect, but also threatens to fuel the misogynistic values. The feeling of loss of masculine power is likely to be a strong breeding ground for the series of setbacks that have occurred recently along the long, progressive path towards modernity. Also in this context it is important to polariseringstesen be examined critically.

Our empirical analysis is mainly based on the Swedish levnadsnivåundersökningarna (LNU), whose data extends until 2010 (LNU is carried out next time in 2020). But recent data from the statistic sweden register is pointing in the same direction and similar pattern emerges in the labour force surveys from a number of EU countries. It is imperative that a careful review will continue, but until further notice it is the reasonable conclusion that both researchers and policymakers must remain sceptical towards the thesis of jobbpolarisering.

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