There have been sharply contrasting scenarios of the long-term pattern of change in the quality of work and employment in the advanced societies. Three broad perspectives have dominated enquiry in the last three decades: an optimistic tradition emphasizing progressive improvement in skills and the quality of work; a pessimistic tradition underlining emerging threats to employment and job quality; and, lastly, an institutional tradition pointing to long-term structural differences between societies. We start by briefly outlining some of the key contrasts between these scenarios and then review the current state of empirical research with respect to three key aspects of the quality of work and employment: the structure of skills; the intrinsic quality of work in terms of job control and work intensity; and, lastly, job insecurity.
SOURCE: Duncan Gallie, “The Quality of Work in a Changing Labour Market”, Social Policy & Administration, First published 3 February 2017
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