Volume 16, 2005
Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Meeting
21st Century Labor Issues
Labor issues were an important feature of 2004 U.S. presidential campaign rhetoric. The principal reason is the adverse effect on employment, compensation, and pension rights of World Trade Organization (WTO) trade liberalization and other economic trends. The objective of this paper is to investigate six key issues affecting the changing role of labor in the 21st century. (1) One issue is outsourcing of employment from advanced economies to developing and transitional economies. (2) A second issue is immigration of knowledge-skilled labor from developing-transition economies to advanced economies. (3) A third issue is immigration of low-wage service labor from developing-transition to advanced economies. (4) A fourth issue is minimum working conditions, together with compensation and pension rights. (5) A fifth issue is ownership incentives for knowledge-skilled labor (Blair, 1995). (6) A more distant issue is eventual substitution of technology for labor.