Technology-driven unemployment is no longer just an ailment of low-income households. No job is safe. There are now AI lawyers, AI accountants, and AI financial advisors. Even AI hedge fund managers. So much money is now being spent on technology that Gartner estimates many companies spend more on marketing technology than they do on actual marketing.
During the referendum campaign, we saw that telling someone on a zero-hours contract or in agency work that there is a risk to their job from Brexit was futile. Until we begin to address these issues and reinstate the concept of secure employment, we will stand no chance of rebuilding our fractured society.
So 2016 - a year of progress against the unprecedented odds? What the challenges of this year show us is that no single organisation can address the plethora of risks to the social care system. The issues in 2016 provoke social care in 2017 to act as a unified body and strengthen our existing partnerships, not least after the government's underwhelming response to raise the social care precept, a move that is more sticking plaster than rescue package.
Just 19% of young women who visited a job centre in the last year said it helped them find a job, six in ten said the experience was humiliating and one in five said staff didn't treat them with respect. While this lack of support was evident across the sexes, young women were less likely than young men to say Jobcentre Plus kept them motivated when searching for work or helped them find work.
The reviews of I, Daniel Blake, have already made Director Ken Loach's case for an Oscar, but if such a thing existed, the film would merit an award for critically explaining an aspect of public policy - in this case, the UK's welfare to work system. While Loach's insight into the condition of the poor in twenty-first century Britain speaks for itself, the policy background is less familiar.
Portraying work is something evil and unobtainable for anyone with any kind of impairment is deeply harmful to people's place in society as well as their personal identities. In defining work is the activity of helping others in any way, it is simply wrong to assume people with impairments can only be in a position of taking as opposed to giving.
So, the Uber ruling is a very good thing indeed - but you won't be surprised to hear a Trade Union activist say this. What is more interesting, and more troubling for me, is the realisation that even if the coming challenges to this ruling are unsuccessful, the "gig economy" as an entity isn't about to disappear