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The Evolution of the Modern Worker: Attitudes to Work

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  • Alex Bryson
  • John Forth

Abstract

This paper examines how employees' experiences of, and attitudes towards, work have changed over the last quarter of a century. It assesses the extent to which any developments relate to the economic cycle and to trends in the composition of the British workforce. Many of the findings are broadly positive, particularly when compared with a picture of deterioration in the late 1980s and 1990s. The onset of a major recession in the late 2000s might have been expected to herald a fundamental shift in employees' attitudes to paid work and their working environment. The impression at the time of writing is, instead, of a more muted reaction than was seen in the early 1990s - in keeping with the more muted impact of the current recession on the labour market as a whole.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Bryson & John Forth, 2010. "The Evolution of the Modern Worker: Attitudes to Work," CEP Discussion Papers dp1030, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1030
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    Keywords

    wages; job security; employee engagement; employment relations; recession;

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence

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