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The Workweek: A Round-Up of Labor Market Links for the Week Ending 8/11/17


Welcome back to The Workweek, the Indeed Hiring Lab’s round-up of the latest research, news, and perspectives that made us think deeply or differently about the labor market this week. It’s your guide to the most important new insights about work.

Here are our picks for this week:

Immigration cuts may hurt Northeast and California most

Which parts of the US are likely to suffer most if immigration levels are cut, as President Trump proposed last week? It turns out that cities like New York and Los Angeles, which depend on international migration to sustain population growth, are most vulnerable. People moving to the US from other countries tend to go to the same set of cities over time, but domestic migrants choose locations with the best economic opportunities. This has led Americans on the move to head to the South and Southwest, while the Northeast and California depend more on an international inflow. Since 2010, nearly half of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas posted net losses in domestic migration. A slowdown in immigration could hurt those cities more than sheer numbers would suggest—recent immigrants tend to be more highly educated than the US-born population. [Brookings]

Will Ukrainians remain a driving force in Poland’s labor market?

In contrast to the US, Poland welcomes immigrants with open arms. That’s because the country’s labor supply is diminishing and it needs a supplement. Ukrainians, who have been coming en masse to flee poor economic conditions, are of particular interest, in part because there’s lots of them—approximately 1 million—currently living and working in Poland. Now though a new law allows Ukrainians to travel to the EU for 90 days without a visa, which could entice these migrants to leapfrog Poland and move further west. [The Economist]

Ghost of the Great Recession continues to haunt millennials

The Great Recession had no shortage of victims, but young people graduating during and immediately after the downturn’s peak have had it especially rough. While unemployment is now a mere 4.3% and finding a job is much easier, recession graduates still collect subpar pay. Of course, wage growth has been dismal across the board. But average weekly earnings of the Great Recession grads has been growing more slowly than average pay of the population as a whole. [Business Insider]

Does the gig economy have a soul or is it just a tight labor market?

The gig economy has gotten raked over the coals for maltreating employees, but finally it is making headlines because of the benefits it is offering. The combination of a tight labor market and high turnover is prompting gig companies to invite freelancers to the ball. To attract and retain these workers, companies have begun offering an array of benefits. For starters, workplace development programs are offering contractors paths to move into full-time roles. Then, there are perks once reserved for top-tier recruitment candidates, such as lucrative signing bonuses, car maintenance services and comprehensive healthcare options. [Wall Street Journal]

‘More leisure please,’ Brits say

It’s a sign of cheer in the UK labor market—more Britons would settle for less pay if they could work fewer hours. Surveys have shown this since late 2014. But, over the past few years, the gap between those who prefer more leisure and those who prefer more work has widened significantly. The difference is now the largest since the economic crisis. To put these results in context, average hours worked has been declining in the UK for over a century. This trend is evident across many OECD countries, which have had an average decline of 12% in hours worked per worker since 1970. [Financial Times]