Richard Florida (The Rise of the Creative Class; The Great Reset) is one of the authors I just regularly “check in with/catch up on.” In a recent article, What Makes Women Rich, he makes a simple point very clearly and persuasively: them more opportunity for women, the more progress a nation can make. The article is worth a careful read. Here are excerpts:
Women make up the majority of the U.S. workforce and an even larger majority of knowledge, professional, and creative workers. In a provocative and controversial essay in this magazine, Hannah Rosin argues that the post-industrial economy is better suited to the types of skills and capabilities women possess. The current economic crisis has been dubbed a “mancession” by some – as men in blue-collar jobs have borne the brunt of layoffs and unemployment.
It stands to reason that economies that afford women more opportunity will gain economic advantage for the simple reason that they can tap a broader reservoir of talent and skill.
Economic opportunity for women is closely associated with the transition to knowledge-driven economic structures with higher levels of human capital and more creative class occupations. Women’s economic opportunity is also greater in nations which are more open and tolerant generally toward gays and lesbians and racial and ethnic minorities. Overall, we find an especially close association between the economic opportunity afforded women and our Global Creativity Index, a composite measure of national creativity and competitiveness. Nations where women have greater economic opportunity also have higher levels of overall life satisfaction and happiness.
Not only do women have greater opportunity in wealthier, more open, post-industrial nations, women are an integral component of the economic development equation. Nations that are more open to women and afford them more opportunity gain economic advantage by harnessing a greater level of human skill and potential. Now, more than ever, the path to economic prosperity requires further human development. Creating economic and social structures which develop women’s full talents and afford them the full range of economic opportunity is a key element in securing lasting economic prosperity.
I have posted a number of times about the series of articles written by Richard Florida for The Atlantic. Go here for links to all of his articles – they provide a terrific overview seeking answers to this question: “where will the jobs be?” And his answer is two-fold: where will they be geographically? and where will they be by “sector?” Florida is the author of The Rise of the Creative Class and The Great Reset, both worth your time.
But here’s another new question: where will the jobs be — by “age?” And, increasingly, they may be nowhere for the over 55 group (that’s me, by the way!).
The New York Times published this article by Motoko Rich: For the Unemployed Over 50, Fears of Never Working Again. Here are some excerpts:
Patricia Reid is not in her 70s, an age when many Americans continue to work. She is not even in her 60s. She is just 57.
But four years after losing her job she cannot, in her darkest moments, escape a nagging thought: she may never work again.
College educated, with a degree in business administration, she is experienced, having worked for two decades as an internal auditor and analyst at Boeing before losing that job.
But that does not seem to matter, not for her and not for a growing number of people in their 50s and 60s who desperately want or need to work to pay for retirement and who are starting to worry that they may be discarded from the work force — forever.
Of the 14.9 million unemployed, more than 2.2 million are 55 or older. Nearly half of them have been unemployed six months or longer, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate in the group — 7.3 percent — is at a record, more than double what it was at the beginning of the latest recession.
“Their skills have atrophied for one thing, and technology changes so rapidly that even if nothing happened to the skills that you have, they may become increasingly less relevant to the jobs that are becoming available.”
So, this job market is the toughest in my lifetime. The unemployment rate is high, and may not come down any time soon. Jobs are scarce. People are needing to work later in life, postponing retirement. And for the older group, even the well-educatied, jobs are more scarce than they were.
A challenging time, indeed! Listen to the fear: “But four years after losing her job she cannot, in her darkest moments, escape a nagging thought: she may never work again.”