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McJobs and MacJobs: The Growing Polarisation of Jobs in the UK

In: The Labour Market Under New Labour


  • Maarten Goos
  • Alan Manning


There has been a large rise in the number of well paid jobs (MacJobs) in the UK over the past 25 years but also a rise in the number of badly paid jobs (McJobs). ‘Middling’ jobs have been disappearing. The most likely cause of these trends is technology with machines and computers replacing jobs that can be mechanised. The worst paid jobs (e.g. cleaning) cannot be done effectively by machines so employment in these occupations tends to rise. The growing polarisation of jobs cannot be explained by the changing structure of the labour force. Policies to increase pay among the low paid, and immigration seem likely to be most effective at dealing with the problems caused by the increasing polarisation of work.

Suggested Citation

  • Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "McJobs and MacJobs: The Growing Polarisation of Jobs in the UK," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Richard Dickens & Paul Gregg & Jonathan Wadsworth (ed.), The Labour Market Under New Labour, chapter 5, pages 70-85, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:palchp:978-0-230-59845-4_6
    DOI: 10.1057/9780230598454_6

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    Cited by:

    1. Kaltenberg, Mary & Foster-McGregor, Neil, 2020. "The impact of automation on inequality across Europe," MERIT Working Papers 2020-009, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz & Aleksandra Parteka, 2018. "The effects of offshoring to low-wage countries on domestic wages: a worldwide industrial analysis," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 129-163, February.
    3. Stephen Gibbons & Anne Green & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2005. "Is Britain Pulling Apart? Area Disparities in Employment, Education and Crime," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 05/120, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
    4. Mary A. Silles, 2007. "Adult Education And Earnings: Evidence From Britain," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 313-326, October.
    5. Baum, Tom, 2012. "Working the skies: Changing representations of gendered work in the airline industry, 1930–2011," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1185-1194.


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