Jobs: Coming or Going?
It's labor day, a day we celebrate the labor movement and the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the US (from wikipedia). As Obama has said many times, a job is something that everyone needs. It is about pride and self image as much as it is about money.
But we've been losing jobs in the US for years as the manufacturing based economy recedes and relocates and the new industries we are all hoping for are not creating jobs fast enough to replace those that are lost.
The central question, it seems, is whether these new industries will employ people in the same ways and at the same rate as the lost industries. I fear that they will not. And I am certain that they will not employ unskilled labor at the same rate as the industries we have lost. Software engineers, designers, writers, analysts, etc should be in strong demand for as far as my eye can see. But those who do not have specific skills are in for a much tougher job environment and have been for quite a while.
I am not sure exactly what to do about all of this other than work like hell to make sure as many of our young people have access to the kind of education that will give them the skills to do the work of the future. As you all know, I am working on that. And so are many others. The good news is that many people realize that's what we need to be doing.
But will that be enough? I don't know. I am not sure anyone does.
Here's what Andy Kessler thinks
Here's what Mark Sigal thinks
Here's what my partner Albert Wenger thinks (he thinks a lot about this issue)
I am curious what you think.