Social Question

Sunny2's avatar

Do you think about the job shortage?

Asked by Sunny2 (18817points) February 17th, 2012

With all the talk about job availability, why is there so little mention of the fact that jobs have simply disappeared because of mechanization, computerization and jobs being moved overseas?
This is particularly true of low skilled work and easier to do work. Typing pools have become computer pools. Production jobs, which used to be available, are done by machines. Where are the jobs of the future going to come from? Or do we even know?

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10 Answers

marinelife's avatar

There is job growth going on right now. Hiring has picked up again.

“Job growth was widespread in the private
sector, with large employment gains in professional and business
services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing.” Bureau of Labor Statistics

Some jobs are coming back from overseas. Manufacturing has picked up. The President has an initiative to partner with community colleges to provide training.

YARNLADY's avatar

The unemployed members of my family have very few skills or experience, and therefore are finding it much more difficult to find work. On the other hand, my husband has an opening for a highly skilled worker, and cannot find anyone who fits their needs.

Many new jobs have been created, but they are nearly all lower paying than the ones that disappeared, and the vanished jobs outnumber the new jobs.

blueiiznh's avatar

I personally do not see that issue here in the Northeast. It was certainly a different story 2 years ago, but there is an abundance of jobs in all sectors where I am.

JLeslie's avatar

There is discussion about the types of jobs that have left America. Michigan has been talking about it for 15 years. Even outside of MI there has been tons of talk about manufacturing jobs leaving the US and mechanization shrinking the need for people on the assembly line. I don’t think we should try to slow mechanization nor technologcal advances, but I am in favor of balancing trade laws, and I wish Americans would care more about buying quality products.

As far as unemployment in general, the topic is raised constantly in the news, and it is mentioned lower level wage earners are hit the hardest right now. But, still the majority of Americans have a job, over 90%. Some are underemployed, and that stat has some wiggle regarding what is the true number, but in most of America people do have jobs. Currently only one of my friends is unemployed and looking for a job, but she willingly quit her former job.

ETpro's avatar

I certainly hear plenty of talk about the shortage of jobs. If you pay attention only to right-wing news sources, then you won’t hear it. Their myth is that 10 million people suddenly became unemployed in the last year of the Bush presidency not because Republican policies crashed the economy but because they all got lazy and decided to lay themselves off or bankrupt their firms so they could kick back and collect unemployment insurance.

But other media has been full of coverage of the fact that qualified people have been sending out resumes and submitting applications, willing to relocate anywhere a job is, and have gone months and sometimes years without a single nibble.

A great part of the problem is that beginning with Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s, Washington made a conscious decision to move manufacturing jobs overseas. We set tax policy to reward corporations for off-shoring US jobs, and punish those who kept work here.

It was really done to let US corporate CEOs and management jack their own salaries sky high. In Japan CEOs make 11 times what their average employee makes. China is about the same. German CEOs take home 12 times as much as average workers. In 1980, the US CEO earned 25 times as much as the average worker, but today they earn 475 times as much.

To justify this insanity, the right-wing think tanks came up with some hokum about America moving from the Manufacturing Age into the Information Age. It would be just like when we moved from the Age of Agriculture to Manufacturing Age, they said. But we never moved from the Age of Agriculture. It’s true that about 95% of the workforce in early America was involved directly in agriculture or in a support job aimed at agriculture. Now that’s down to 5%. But we most certainly didn’t give up growing things. We automated agriculture. We are still the largest food exporter in the world.

The bright boys at the right-wing think tanks preached that we would get rid of the dirty, sweaty jobs and let third-world labor do that. We would move up from the Manufacturing Age to the Information Age. We would charge huge sums to teach the rest of the world how to manufacture. Of course, when you stop doing something yourself, and others start pushing the envelope of six-sigma quality; you can’t teach them how. They have the knowledge and you no longer do. So we outsourced those jobs with no real plan to replace them. It was all done for the benefit of the CEOs and Billionaire financiers who profit handsomely from it. They, by the way, are the people who fund all those right wing think tanks.

Now that we see the ugly underbelly of out-sourcing, we have to change those wrong headed tax policies and bring manufacturing back on-shore. But so far, Republicans in the US Senate have filibustered every attempt to cancel tax incentives for off-shoring work. Their Greedy Oligarch Pig overlords want it to stay just like it is, and they could care less how many families it drops into poverty—it’s fine so long as our loss is their gain.

woodcutter's avatar

jesus christ. For the most part, society adapts and overcomes adversity the best it can, in spite of govt. People aren’t just going to sit on their hands and cry. It will never happen fast enough and there are always going to be those who are unemployed. Has there ever been 0% unemployment ever? Things are getting ever so slightly better. You do the best you can.

People need to graduate with a diploma that actually means something instead of pushing students out because they’re too big to fit the desks at school. It’s one thing to get all ginned up about these mythical jobs of the 21st century but what fuckin good will they be if they (young people) graduate without enough sense to pour piss out of a boot? There aren’t enough jobs to go around for the “average people” because like the man says,“those jobs are going boys and they ain’t coming back”
The right has a shitload at stake if this turns back and goes the other way. The people are tired of who started the whole mess, the whiney blame games they all push. They don’t care why? because there are enough of us that know there is plenty of blame to go round. Those who say one side is“demonstrably worse” than the other excluded can politely excuse themselves from the smart table for now.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter To claim that government policies make no difference is to maintain that there are equal opportunities in North Korea, Singapore, and the USA. Castro’s policies for Cuba are every bit as good as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s handling of the German economy. You certainly know that isn’t true. The Republican polices of the last 30 years have done serious harm to our once thriving middle class. In 1980, 65% of Americans were in the middle class. Toady, it’s only 46%; and the shrinkage has been movement down into the working poor and those in deep poverty. The top 1% is still just 1%.

Policy matters, and if we keep following these wrong-headed policies, America will be a third world nation in another generation. There will be a tiny elite of oligarchs who are fabulously wealthy; and a legion of people stuck in perpetual wage slavery. Muddling through won’t fix that. Reversing the wrong-headed policies that are driving the decline of the middle class will fix it. The choice is up to us.

woodcutter's avatar

Our lawmakers over reach at the request of their constituents. They get into trouble when they do that. Instead of just doing something right, they insist on sneaking in other totally unrelated things to a bill that causes the the “other” side to reject it out of hand. And then we get to listen to the blame game (pre-scripted) from each side why it failed Usually involves one side wanting to legislate morality and the other thinking they should legislate behavior, or both. Nobody dares to vote anti incumbent. They are feeling invincible and the way they are behaving is a direct result of that.

rooeytoo's avatar

It seems here that many of those who can’t find a job have an undergraduate degree in philosophy, anthropology, psychology, etc. If you major in a field that actually prepares you for a job in the real world, you have no problem. Don’t go for a degree where the only work you can find will rely on a government grant. If you forgo college in favor of a trade, you can pretty much pick and choose where you work. And if you have no skills and are not trying to learn any but still want to make 100 grand a year then you are one of the unemployables.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter I don’t disagree with that analysis. We really need to get the massive money out of our politics to clean things up. But there are still massive differences between the policies the two parties advocate, and what sort of an America they will produce. If you want America to become a banana republic (if you think you will be one of the handful of ruling families that hold all the wealth) then vote Republican, because that’s where their policies are taking us. If you think it’s better for America to have a vibrant middle class, vote Democratic. Their policies take us to an America more like the one we had during the Post War boom from 1945 to 1980, when we built the strong middle class that has been eroding for the past 30 years under Republican “Conservative” rule.

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