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Which Jobs Are Really Worth Saving?

The specter of mass unemployment remains eight months after the pandemic began. Now governments have some hard choices to make.

Actor Michael Douglas a Gordon Gekko in a scene from “Wall Street.”

Actor Michael Douglas a Gordon Gekko in a scene from “Wall Street.”

Photograph: Courtesy of Everett Collection

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The pandemic has raised the specter of mass unemployment across many developed economies. In Europe, governments stepped in to help pay millions of workers, hoping the crisis would quickly pass and businesses reopen. But with normality nowhere in sight and fresh waves of infection prompting new restrictions, the question now is which jobs should we try to save? 


On this week’s episode, Bloomberg economy reporter Jeannette Neumann reports from Cadiz, Spain, where old industries hold lessons for the present battle to save jobs. Stephanie Flanders also talks with leading economists Paul Collier and John Kay about their new book, “Greed Is Dead,” and why Gordon Gekko might have been wrong. Community, it turns out, plays a surprisingly large role in capitalism.