The Changing Nature of Work and Employment in Developed Countries

  • Werner EichhorstEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Handbook Series in Occupational Health Sciences book series (HDBSOHS, volume 1)


The current public debate about the future of labor in developed countries is characterized by the role of human work in the course of globalization and vast technological changes. While the severe extent of automation is not observed by empirical studies, there probably will be significant changes in the structure of jobs and strengthened inequalities between socioeconomic groups. In this regard, public policy is of decisive importance to shape the quality of jobs and to encounter possible aberrations. The institutions should be aimed at allowing an appropriate balance between flexibility and security as well as achieving a fair distribution of opportunities and risks in the labor market and access to employment. It is essential to focus on the protection of workers instead of jobs themselves and to develop both superior contractual and social protection for non-standard workers. Additionally, investments in human capital for all types of education and in continuous training are the foundation for future employability.


Employment changes Human work Polarization Non-standard employment Future employability Active labor market policies Labor market institutions Social protection 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IZA and University of BremenBremenGermany

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