While thinking about what I wanted to write about today, my uncle Bob e-mailed me with an interesting article he heard on NPR yesterday morning about where the jobs will be in the coming decade, and I wanted to share it with you.
The gist of the article says that it’s going to take the U.S. a while to recover from the slump we’ve been in, but that in the next 10 years, we should expect to see about 15 million new jobs. The author predicts strong job growth for the high-paying jobs and the low-paying jobs at both ends of the labor market, but less growth in the middle to replace the well-paying manufacturing jobs the U.S. is losing.
I’ve included highlights from the article in this post, but for the full story, click here
Where The Jobs Will Be This Decade
by John Ydstie
This month we begin a new decade with a big economic question: Where are the jobs?
The first decade of this century ended as a disaster for employment. Since the recession began two years ago, the U.S. has lost more than 7 million jobs.
Just to regain the jobs we’ve lost will be a huge challenge, says Harvard University labor economist Lawrence Katz. “We would need well over 300,000 [jobs] a month for four years in a row just to make up what we’ve lost in the last couple of years,” Katz says.
Jobs On The Horizon
Katz thinks it could take half a decade or more just to get to the employment levels we had two years ago. Still, he expects that during this new decade, the U.S. economy will eventually create 15 million new jobs, with the unemployment rate falling to around 5 percent.
The real question, he says, is what kind of jobs they’ll be. “The worrisome trend is something I’ve called the polarization of the labor market.”
Katz says the U.S. has experienced this for the past 15 years or so. It results in strong job growth for the high-paying jobs and the low-paying jobs at both ends of the labor market, but less growth in the middle to replace the well-paying manufacturing jobs the U.S. is losing.
Projections for the next decade from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that elements of that basic trend will continue.
Top 10 List
Dixie Sommers, assistant commissioner for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, recites a list of the 10 occupations that the BLS expects will provide the greatest number of new jobs over the next decade. These include:
Six of the top seven fastest-growing occupations are low-skill, low-wage jobs.
Less Training Required
For those who want to spend less time in school than accountants and nurses, but still make good money, Sommers suggests firefighting or becoming a sales representative for a manufacturer — especially one making technical and scientific products. Sales representatives can make about $70,000 a year, she says.
Finally, over the next decade, the best-paying, fastest-growing job that also requires little training is truck driving. According to the BLS, the folks driving the big tractor-trailer rigs earn about $37,000 a year on average.