The Social Economics of Job Quality
Chapter 7: Conclusions
Generally in Social Sciences, but particularly in Economics, what cannot be measured hardly exists. This book has discussed the possibilities for developing a sound synthetic measure at the European Union of one of those virtually non-existing issues in current economic debates: job quality. Since the late 1990s, European policy makers have been speaking about the need to take job quality into account for the development of employment policies: but the lack of a widely accepted and respected measure of job quality (the lack of even a shared understanding of what job quality is) has kept this issue at a rhetorical level so far. There are non-negligible reasons to take seriously the development of a good European job quality indicator. European full-time workers spend on average 42 hours a week in their jobs: obviously, whatever happens during this significant amount of their life will be very relevant for their overall well-being. Furthermore, job quality is strongly linked to many of the key goals of high-developed economies – sustainable employment rates, gender equality, productivity, etc., so, in order to adequately evaluate the performance and progress of European economies, it is necessary to track the distribution and evolution of job quality. All these concerns are heightened in the current context of crisis, which involves accelerated processes of change and transformation of employment structures and working conditions: we have detailed information of how the crisis is affecting employment in quantitative terms (many people are losing their jobs), but we know nearly nothing about its implications...
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