Sunday, January 10, 2016

The New Jobs Economy

1) WSJ: The Bleak Reality Driving Trump’s Rise

Workers with low or middle incomes sense a deep and alarming economic shift.
WILLIAM A. GALSTON Dec. 15, 2015 6:17 p.m. ET

Be­neath the dry sta­tistics of the lat­est re­port from the Bu­reau of La­bor Sta­tistics, we can see that fu­ture emerg­ing. Over the next decade, the ser­vice sec­tor will pro­vide 95% of all the new jobs. Man­u­fac­tur­ing, which shed more than two mil­lion jobs be-tween 2004 and 2014, will shrink by an ad­di­tional 800,000, to only 7% of the work­force. Of the 15 oc­cu­pa­tions with the most pro­jected job growth, only four ask for a bach­e­lor’s de­gree; eight re­quire no for­mal ed­u­ca­tion cre-den­tials; nine offer me­dian an­nual wages un­der $30,000.

2) NYT: The Machines Are Coming


But computers do not just replace humans in the workplace. They shift the balance of power even more in favor of employers. Our normal response to technological innovation that threatens jobs is to encourage workers to acquire more skills, or to trust that the nuances of the human mind or human attention will always be superior in crucial ways. But when machines of this capacity enter the equation, employers have even more leverage, and our standard response is not sufficient for the looming crisis.

Machines aren’t used because they perform some tasks that much better than humans, but because, in many cases, they do a “good enough” job while also being cheaper, more predictable and easier to control than quirky, pesky humans. Technology in the workplace is as much about power and control as it is about productivity and efficiency.

3) Slaves to the Database

In this "required reading" for all young people, the author touches on many of the issues surrounding the still-looking-for-the-right-name "sharing economy," but doesn't make any particular conclusion. 
He ends by just asking if it would be a possible solution if we all just pay a bit more for these uberesque services... to bring the workers up to the standard of regular employees. To me this article merely shows that there are so many interwoven issues in the Uber/Airbnb/Amazon Turk phenomenon and it's a question of framing the issues before we can even flame one another with sufficiently web-worthy invective.

4) Employment Is Uber, I Mean Over

I try to tell my kids that they need to think of "income streams" not "getting a job." Liz Ryan makes my point: 

5) Kids, Read this Book: Crowdfunding

One of the most amazing things going on right now is that you can damn-near invent anything or create your own company just by using your friends... or a few hundred of them you can manage to herd together on the web. But you're not ready! Yes, you read right. This book tells you to spend a year cultivating a following. So read the book if only to learn that one prep step.

6) Soon, We'll All Be Retiring at 50! Woohoo, Right?  

Uh, not exactly. This great article breaks out the major factors at play in the employment world, and gives some no-fluff recommendations to survive the brave new world.

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