The Future of Employment
Employment has always been an indispensable concern for most of us. But at least since the 1970s, we have seen a steady rise in the number of Americans who have suddenly, and in some cases not so suddenly, found themselves unemployed, underemployed, partially employed, self-employed, or in some other category that essentially means that they are having trouble finding the work they want. Forty years ago, the employment rates for male high school graduates were the same as those for male college graduates. But today there are fewer job opportunities for high school graduates, additional training or certification is needed in many fields, and a growing number of male high school graduates are ‘choosing’ not to work at all. At the same time, many employers find it difficult to find workers with the right job skills and personal characteristics to fill the jobs they have to offer.
Whatever the causes, many American workers now find themselves in a highly competitive global labor market in which they are forced to compete both with machines and with foreign workers who are well-educated, highly skilled, motivated, capable, hungry, and willing to work for a fraction of the pay that American workers could once demand, and still want.
The seven policy possibilities in this discussion guide:
A. Support People to Manage the Decline
B. Celebrate the Intrinsic Value of Work
C. Foster Workplace Happiness
D. Invest in People to Maximize Human Capital
E. Work With Technology
F. Unleash the Power of the Market
G. Embrace Freedom–and Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur