Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jobs for the 21st Century

Outsourcing and automation put downward pressures on the demand for blue-collar labor during the best of times. However, in the wake of this historic slow-down, positions that have been absorbed by other workers or taken over by computer robotic systems are never coming back. Next time you pick up groceries, take note of how many of the supermarket cashiers have been replaced by self-checkout stations, or how, when you call your doctor's office, there's an automated message system instead of a medical secretary getting you a prescription or test results. Experts warn that when this recession ends, we will most likely see yet another jobless recovery, a term used to describe this distinctively post-industrial phenomenon of economic growth that comes without firms hiring workers.
So just what are the jobs of the 21st Century?
This is not something to be afraid of--it's something to work with. Stop being nostalgic for the jobs of yesteryear and look ahead.
Is GM going to be hiring as many people to work on the line? Hell no.
GM and big businesses like GM are gone as we knew it--they're pretending it will all work out in the end (and it will) but not the way they lead you to believe. Never like it was before.
(Is anything EVER like it was before, for heaven's sake? Learn something!)
Start thinking ahead. What should we be preparing our kids for? What kinds of work will there be once McDonald's starts selling Big Macs out of vending machines?
You know they'll do it. That's progress and that's how the profits are made.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post! So many people complain about brown people with accents taking all the jobs, but they don't seem at all concerned about self-checkout. Funny, that.