Blanchflower on Unemployment Strategies

The speech last week by David Blanchflower at the University of Stirling on prospects for the British economy and the rising unemployment crisis received much coverage, but the real value for economics teachers and students comes from accessing the speech itself which is available for download from the Bank of England site.

In the latter part Professor Blanchflower outlines a range of active labour market policies to reduce unemployment (the “shovel ready” jobs from infrastructure projects formed just a small part of his agenda) and there is also an excellent section on the economic and social costs of unemployment.

“In past recessions rising long-term unemployment had a persistent adverse effect on the supply potential of the economy. Rising unemployment may lead to a reduction in the supply capacity of the economy. If workers remain unemployed for sustained periods they may lose their skills, thus reducing their human capital. High rates of long-term unemployment in the economy may mean there is a mismatch between those skills that workers possess, and those for which there is demand. People may also be less likely to participate in the labour market the longer their spell of unemployment persists.”

What a shame that one of the MPC’s most astute participants is coming to the end of his tenure.

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