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JakeS:
I suspect that the reason for the lack of qualified labour is not so much underpaying as the arrogant expectation that actually training labour to become qualified is Somebody Else's Problem.

But, as I suggest above, Germany is widely reputed to be a country that succeeds rather well in training skilled workers for the "middle" jobs that are manual but require technical capacity. That reputation may have been based on past performance only and the neolibs may have changed everything, but that would have to be demonstrated.

JakeS:

A tight labour market doesn't mean that employers pay more in order to get more labour

In the real world, employers don't "pay more to get more labour". They may offer more, in a competitive situation, in an attempt to attract what skilled labour is in fact available. There is always a margin of unemployed workers, or workers interested in changing jobs, particularly changing up. Increases at the margin will gradually tend to raise wages in general in the sector, since all workers (and their unions, though I admit I'm not sure what the collective bargaining situation is wrt the Mittelstand) will be aware of them.

JakeS:

the price of labour will be set by the minimum that is required for demand destruction

Don't quite get this. How does it apply to production for export?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 26th, 2011 at 02:21:31 AM EST
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