January 28, 2013

Middle class jobs gone forever?

This has been more than a jobless recovery. It's been a middle-class jobless recovery.

Continued decline in union power is one reason. Gridlock in the US, or austerity in Europe, is another.

But, the same technology powering your smartphone is probably the primary reason, per this story, that only 2 percent of new US jobs in the recovery are "middle class." (Of the rest, about 70 percent are lower-class and a full 29 percent upper class. So, yes, when the conservatives accuse liberals of "class warfare," it's really them.)
“The jobs that are going away aren’t coming back,” says Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of “Race Against the Machine.” “I have never seen a period where computers demonstrated as many skills and abilities as they have over the past seven years.”
And this:
“There’s no sector of the economy that’s going to get a pass,” says Martin Ford, who runs a software company and wrote “The Lights in the Tunnel,” a book predicting widespread job losses. “It’s everywhere.”
It's the robots in particular, but it will be technology in general.

On service jobs, the improvement of Siri-type programs will cut further. Even worse, wait until a health insurance company, a Fortune 1,000 level one, or similar, puts in the first commercial "Watson" of Jeopardy fame. Loads of customer service representative jobs will go out the window.

We already have too many college grads for college-necessitating jobs, and so, this is only going to get worse. Sidebar is likely to be continued growth in the avaricious, and sexist, temp industry.

It's tough for a middle-class parent to tell a kid to NOT think of college, but given the college inflation, both on graduates and college prices, it may be a good idea.

Instead, parents, teach your kids belt-tightening, financial management and similar things. It may produce deflation in some areas, but if that's what happens, that's what happens.

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