Kay argues from basic economic principles but he adds an observation rarely made that is worth pondering.
Most unskilled jobs in developed countries are necessarily in personal services. Workers in China can assemble your iPhone but they cannot serve you lunch, collect your refuse or bathe your grandmother. Anyone who thinks these are not “real jobs” does not understand the labour they involve. There is a subtle gender issue here: work that has historically mostly been undertaken by women at home – like care and cooking – struggles to be regarded as “real work”.Most discussions of gender issues is so much tosh but I think Kay is right, that historical assumptions and stereotypes might cloud clear economic thinking when it comes to the services economy.