Richard Florida (his book, The Great Reset is my selection for the September First Friday Book Synopsis), keeps thinking and writing about the future of jobs. Here are the last few sentences from his latest post, Where the Blue-Collar Jobs Will Be:
The good news is that the U.S. will continue to create relatively high-paying working class jobs. These jobs will continue to provide good livelihoods for the workers fortunate enough to have them. The bad news is that their rate of growth will be sluggish and not nearly enough to provide the amount of good, family-supporting jobs required to undergird a middle class of lower-skilled workers. The harsh reality is that blue-collar, working class jobs in the U.S. are increasing slowly, and they will grow the slowest in traditional manufacturing and industrial regions and communities whose economic and social life has revolved around these jobs. There is little policy-makers can do – aside from declaring a trade war – to bring back large numbers of these high-paying jobs. But they can develop strategies to improve not just the wages but the content of blue-collar work, by engaging workers more fully and seeing them as a source of innovation. And they can help to infuse more creativity and design into manufacturing products, helping to broaden their market and counteract the trend toward declining prices. And policy-makers will have to develop strategies for improving wages and the content of work in other faster-growing segments of the economy, a point I will get to in my next post, which will cover the projected growth of service jobs.
The threat to the middle class is real, deep, and severe.
(Click here for a list of the articles Florida has written for the Atlantic).
Richard Florida has a post up at the Atlantic on “Where the Jobs Will Be.” He says that “Jobs are the second-biggest issue facing the United States – second only to the
economy.” Obviously, big population areas will do pretty well (Dallas is looking pretty good). But, here’s a key paragraph:
This suggests that the structural forces that are reshaping the U.S. economy from an industrial to a more idea, knowledge, and human capital driven post-industrial economic system will continue to deepen. Left unchecked, these forces will continue to divide the U.S. economy and U.S. society by skill-level, occupation, and economic class – the kind of work people do. And this rising economic divide of work and class will also continue to be reflected in and overlaid by a deepening geographic divide, as the geography of class compounds economic and social inequality. Public policy then will have to focus not just on generating jobs but on improving the content of many of those jobs, especially in the service class, increasing innovation and productivity, more fully utilizing and engaging workers’ capabilities and talents, and improving wages.
The article has charts and graphs, and plenty else, all worth your time.
By the way, Richard Florida is the author of The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity, my selection for the September First Friday Book Synopsis. Register here.
This morning, a large crowd gathered for the August First Friday Book Synopsis. Karl Krayer delivered the synopsis of Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath and Jim Harter, and I delivered the synopsis of the immensely practical Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm by Verne Harnish.
For September, traditionally the official launch of the new school year, we have chosen two important books. Karl Krayer will present the big best-seller, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh. Hsieh is the CEO of the successful and popular Zappos.com.
I will present the synopsis of The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity by Richard Florida. Florida is the pace-setting author whose earlier book, The Rise of the Creative Class, generated thought and conversation for so many. The very title of his new book is profound: we are in a time that demands, and is experiencing, a great reset.
You can read the review of The Great Reset by Bob Morris, from our blog, here. Here is his last line: In my opinion, The Great Reset to be the most valuable book that Richard Florida has written…thus far.
One person, a first-time participant this morning, described the event as a fast dose of content, “fire-hosed from the speakers into the minds of the participants.” I think this is a pretty apt description. Our event is definitely fast-paced, content-rich, and content-focused.
If you live in the DFW area, plan to join us on Friday, September 3, for this gathering filled with content, great networking, and good food.
(If you do not receive our reminder e-mails, click the “sign up here” button on the right side of this page).
First, the key advice. If you are young, move to where the jobs are and where it will be best to build your career.
Now more than ever, it’s really important to put serious thought into where you want to live. The place you choose to live in key to your economic future. Jobs no longer last forever. In fact, the average twenty-something switches jobs every year. Places can provide the vibrant, thick labor market that can get you that next job, and the one after that and be your hedge against layoffs during this economic downturn. Early career moves are the most important of all, according to Don Peck in the National Journal. He cites a prominent study that finds that “about two-thirds of all lifetime income growth occurs in the first 10 years of a career, when people can switch jobs easily, bidding up their earnings.” Sure you can move from place to place—and it’s true twenty-somethings are three- to four-times more likely to move than fifty-somethings—but it’s a lot easier to manage a forward-looking career if you choose the right place with abundant opportunity to start out in.
Here’s a little more from the Peck article cited by Florida:
Small signals of promise at the beginning of a career can matter enormously to the trajectory that career takes. Yet those signals are often as much the product of luck as of skill…. It’s an unlucky time to be starting a career. But luck isn’t everything. This is a time that requires hustle, adaptability, entrepreneurialism, and hard strategic thinking. Despite the pressures they face, Millennials who exhibit these characteristics are likely to get through this period just fine.
The Florida article has some “good” news. The unemployment rate is actually low for college graduates. Here are a couple of more paragraphs:
Let’s not go overboard. That 20 percent plus unemployment rate includes high school dropouts and people who didn’t finish college. The unemployment rate for college graduates is actually less than 5 percent. And the unemployment rate in the professional and technical fields where you’re most likely to work—science and engineering, business and management, education and health care—is just under 4 percent. Make no mistake about it, times are tough—but it’s blue-collar workers and blue-collar communities that have borne the full brunt of the crisis.
Most recent college grads will find jobs, even if they have to look a little longer than previous classes did. And that’s not such a bad thing. With all those high-paying corporate entry-level jobs for the taking during the boom years, too many young people went for the bucks and landed in careers that were unsatisfying and unfulfilling.
And the bad news for those of us in Dallas – the Dallas area did not make the list of the top 25 cities for young adults. He stopped at 25, so maybe we were #26.
The article is worth reading — read it here.
An observation: I have written often on this blog about the jobs problem. I think that there is good news for college graduates. But let’s remember that the percentage of male college graduates is on a precipitous decline. Where will the jobs be for the less-than-college-educated males in this country? I do not know.
Will Richard Florida’s The Great Reset point us to a solution to the Joblessness of our Era? I Hope So!
Bob Morris has just posted his review of The Great Reset, the new book by Richard Florida, on Amazon.com. He has interviewed this provocative author for this blog, and has hinted at the coming value of this new book. It sounds terrific! – and is definitely on my to read list.
But it was this line that caught my attention in his review:
“There’s an urgent need to create new good jobs – lots of them…We need to support the growth of higher-paying knowledge, professional and creative jobs, and make sure that greater numbers of workers are prepared for them.”
Of all the business issues that capture my attention, it is the disappearance of jobs, and the need to create a whole new set of jobs (with adequate pay) that I think most challenges the corporate leaders of this generation. In fact, my post A Jobless Recovery and a Slip Down Maslow’s Hierarchy, is the most viewed post in the history of this blog.
So – I’m anxious to read the new Florida book for all of the good reasons, but especially for his section on the need to create new jobs.
I’m reading a book that would not normally fall on my radar. It is The Cul-De Sac Syndrome: Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream. It is a book about: the housing crisis, the sub-prime crisis, the water shortage crisis, the cost of oil crisis, the inner city crisis… The list is long. And it is a fascinating book. Here’s a quote:
How did the American dream turn into such a crushing, unsustainable debt burden? Populists blame Wall Street. Conservatives blame greedy, underfinanced homeowners. Liberals cite the lack of regulation in lending and securities markets… only one thing is certain. The debacle has been brewing for centuries and has intimate ties to a cultural obsession.
The author, John F. Wasik (award winning journalist, finance columnist for Bloomberg News), identifies that problem as the “cul-de-sac syndrome.” It is, to put it simply, this – in America, we always want our houses to be bigger, better, more luxurious. So if we can’t have them close to where we work, we will commute a great distance to have them. And we simply can’t sustain the lifestyle required to provide such houses.
I don’t often say this on my blog, but I do this time: read this book. Why? Because you will ask a whole new set of questions. It will stretch your thinking, make you more than a little uncomfortable, while helping you understand the last few years and the impact of the housing issue on our overall economy.
(And – I’m about to read Richard Florida’s The Great Reset. I have a hunch this book will help “set me up” to better understand that book).