The reality is: it is becoming harder and harder for the “middle class” in America to find decent employment, and even harder to stay employed over time. This trend has been going on for quite a long time, long before the current administration, and economists believe the changes are here to stay.
Economic advisors have an old joke they used to tell about this trend:
The manufacturing facility of the future will employ two people. One will be a man, and one will be a dog. And the man will be there to feed the dog. And the dog will be there to make sure the man doesn’t touch the equipment.
This may no longer be that funny. “And it hurts most for those without a college degree. They’re less in demand, so they make half of what people with a higher education make.”
David Autor from M.I.T. has a few things to say about this:
“It wasn’t long ago that many large businesses had people who just did typing and filing and phone answering. We don’t see much of that anymore. Similarly, at a slightly higher level there are a lot of accounting and information processing jobs that also have been supplanted by hardware and software.” *
He goes on to say that “American society is very dependent on the belief that we are meritocratic and mobile, that people’s success in life depends on their smarts and on their hard work and playing by the rules, not on accidents of birth.” Thing is, for that 70 percent of Americans with modest skills and modest education, he sees fewer and fewer shots at a middle-class life.
The bottom line here is: middle class jobs that require very little education or skills training are going away. They will end up being a very small part of the job market with more and more people trying to get into those jobs. Which is why we see high unemployment among those who do not have H.S. equivalencies or specific job training.
If you find yourself in this situation- the solution is to start expanding your skill levels. You can do this with degrees, but there are certification programs out there also. For more information contact the B.O.C.E.S. at 789-5742.