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经济学人:年长工人更受欢迎

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Labour markets

劳务市场

Glad to be grey

年长工人更受欢迎

Older workers have fared unusually well since the financial crisis

自从2008年金融危机以来,年纪大的工人得到的待遇异乎寻常的优厚

Jul 20th 2013 |From the print edition

THE recession of 2008-09 was remarkable in rich countries for its intensity, the subsequent recovery for its weakness. The labour market has also broken the rules, as new research from the OECD, a think-tank of mainly rich countries, shows in its annual Employment Outlook.

对于世界上的富国而言,2008年至2009年的经济衰退影响巨大。同时引起人们注意的是,危机过后这些国家的复苏之路疲态尽显。而OECD(经济合作与发展组织,这一智库主要是为发达国家的)年度《就业展望》(Employment Outlook)中的最新研究表明,劳动力市场也出现了反常的变化。

Young people always suffer in recessions. Employers stop hiring them; and they often get rid of new recruits because they are easier to sack. But in previous episodes, such as the recessions of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, older workers were also booted out. This time is different. During the financial crisis in 2008, and since, they have done better than other age groups.

一旦经济衰退来袭,身处困境的总会有年轻人的身影。雇主不再继续雇佣他们。因为年轻人解雇起来比较方便,所以老板经常会先炒掉他们。不过即使如此,上世纪70-90年代发生的历次衰退中,年长的职员一般也很难独善其身。然而这次情形有所不同。自从2008年金融危机以来,年长雇员相比其他年龄段的员工,受到的冲击则较为有限。

The researchers focus on movements in “non-employment” as a share of the total population in three age groups between the final quarters of 2007 and 2012. This measure has the advantage of including not just unemployment, where people are looking for work, but also inactivity, where people are not seeking jobs. Whereas the average non-employment rate in the OECD has risen by four percentage points among young people and by one-and-a-half points among 25- to 54-year-olds, it has fallen by two points among the 55-64 age group (see chart).

研究人员将总人口划分了三个年龄组,分别比较观察了07年四季度至12年四季度,每组“无业人口”与各自人口总数的比例变化。研究“无业人口”的方法优势在于其研究对象不仅包括失业人员,还包括没有择业行为的人。区别就在于前者正在找工作,后者没有在找工作。OECD数据显示,虽然青年平均无业人口比例上涨4个百分点,25-54岁人员上涨1.5个百分点,但是55-64年龄段却下降2个百分点(见图表)。

Why have older employees done so well? In some southern European countries they benefit from job protection not afforded to younger workers, but that did not really help them in past recessions. What has changed, says Stefano Scarpetta, head of the OECD’s employment directorate, is that firms now bear the full costs of getting rid of older staff. In the past early-retirement schemes provided by governments (in the mistaken belief that these would help young people) made it cheaper to push grey-haired workers out of the door. These have largely stopped.

年龄较大的工人表现优良的原因在何处?在南欧的一些国家,年纪大的工人享有工作保障的福利,而年龄偏低工人则不包含在内。不过在前几次金融危机期间,工作保障也没有起多大的作用。斯特凡诺•斯卡尔佩塔——OECD就业事务总干事,他认为造成前后迥异的原因在于如今的用人单位如果要辞退年龄大的员工,需要承担全部的费用。过去政府制定的提前退休计划中,把“送花白头发工人出门”的成本的门槛定的很低。政府当时错误的认为这样会帮到年轻人就业,而如今这项计划已基本不再推行。

Job losses among older workers have also been more than offset by falls in inactivity, reflecting forces that were already apparent before the crisis. Older workers are healthier than they used to be and work is less physically demanding. They are also more attractive to employers than prior generations. Today’s 55- to 64-year-olds are the advance squad of the post-war baby-boomers who benefited from better education than their predecessors.

虽然年长工人丢掉工作的情况时有发生,但由于求职积极性上升,有工作的年长工人人数反而上升了,这反映出危机之前工人们已经明显地感觉到了压力。现代年龄大的工人身体状况较之于以往健康很多,而且工作对于人力需求也逐步下降。今天,55-64岁的工人算得上是二战后“婴儿潮”的先头部队,他们比前辈接受了更好的教育。所以,与之前几代人的相比,如今这类雇员更容易得到工作。

Older workers now have a sharper incentive to stay in employment because of the impact of the crisis on wealth. In Britain, for example, workers who rely on private pensions have been adversely affected by lower returns on their investments and by poor annuity rates when they convert their savings into regular income.

由于金融危机对财富的冲击,年长工人继续工作的目的性更加清晰了。比如在英国,首先是投资回报的减少,其次工人将养老账户余额转为固定收入,年金利率惨不忍睹;工人们赖以维系的私人养老金因此受到极为不利的影响。

Many will argue that older workers have done better at the expense of the young. That view is wrongheaded. First, it is a fallacy that a job gained for one person is a job lost for another; there is no fixed “lump of labour”. And second, as the report shows, young and old people are by and large not substitutes in the workplace. They do different types of work in different types of occupation: younger people gravitate to IT firms, for example, whereas older folk tend to be employed in more traditional industries. There are plenty of things that should be done to help the young jobless, but shunting older workers out of the workplace is not one of them.

或许有不少人认为年龄大的工人做得比较好是以牺牲年轻人为代价换来的。这种观点是不正确的。第一,认为一个人上岗就意味着另一个人下岗,纯属谬误;“劳动总数”并不是固定的。第二,据报道称,在工作中年轻人和年长的人在大多数情况下并不是替换的关系。不同的工作岗位,给二者分配的任务也是不同的:举个例子,年轻人就比较青睐信息技术公司,而老一点的人就倾向于在较为传统的工厂工作。当然,帮助新人摆脱失业困境的方法有千千万,但是把老人赶走绝不是其中之一。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
fallacy ['fæləsi]

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n. 谬论

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affected [ə'fektid]

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adj. 受影响的,受感动的,受疾病侵袭的 adj. 做

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benefit ['benifit]

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n. 利益,津贴,保险金,义卖,义演
vt.

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population [.pɔpju'leiʃən]

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n. 人口 ,(全体)居民,人数

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traditional [trə'diʃənəl]

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adj. 传统的

 
inactivity

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n. 静止;不活泼;休止状态;不放射性

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demanding [di'mændiŋ]

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adj. 要求多的,吃力的

 
intensity [in'tensiti]

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n. 强烈,强度

 
impact ['impækt,im'pækt]

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n. 冲击(力), 冲突,影响(力)
vt.

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attractive [ə'træktiv]

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adj. 有吸引力的,引起注意的

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