Politicians like to tout a spectacularly low unemployment rate, but that masks the truth about our jobs crisis in America. In reality, there aren’t nearly as many well-paying jobs as there were in the recent past in America. While employment has grown enormously in recent years, the quality of jobs available to regular people isn’t what it used to be.
The economy has dramatically shifted in recent years, as labor-saving technology has eliminated the need for millions of workers. Simply, many large companies don’t need as many workers as they used to. Technological advancement has meant less employment for the average American. Today, General Motors has less than half of the employees it did in 1955.
Our flagship tech companies such as Google and Amazon don’t need armies of workers to make money. Their business is digital, and not labor-intensive, and that means fewer jobs for working people.
Entrepreneurship is also hovering at historic lows, and fewer people start small businesses. While 66 percent of new jobs come from small business, the slowdown in start-ups is slowing American employment.
A few exceptions
If you’ve searched for a job, you’ll probably notice that there are lots of open positions available in growing fields such as tech and healthcare. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people don’t have the specialized training that are required to work in these fields.
Tech and healthcare aren’t alone, as we’re quickly transitioning to an economy where the vast majority of jobs will require some kind of education beyond high school.
Our modern job market is schizophrenic, where millions of people remain jobless, as millions of positions remain open and unfilled. This is our new, dismal reality, where there is a fundamental mismatch between the economy’s needs and our education system.
People simply don’t have the skills that today’s world needs.
Takeaway: Learn 21st Century Skills
The new economy requires knowledge in fields that didn’t exist until recently. People who have on-demand skills should quickly land lucrative jobs with little trouble.
If you don’t have the skills that employers want, you could end up underemployed or unemployed. There are a sea of people, many of whom have college degrees, who struggle to find stable, well-paying work.
The takeaway is easy: Make sure your education prepares you to succeed in today’s digital economy. If not, you’ll be another victim of today’s job crisis.
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