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A Look Into the Future American Economy

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Jed Kolko provides an interesting analysis of where the American job market is headed. Couple of points:

1) It’s hardly surprising that health care is the fastest growing overall work sector, although it’s also notable that the single biggest category of job growth is wind turbine technician, which I hope turns out to be true.

2) It’s equally unsurprising that the fastest declining job categories all revolve around the old industrial economy, with both production and movement of goods in collapse. I didn’t even know the U.S. still had sewing machine operators as a job except for often illegal sweatshops in California, but whatever is left of that sector is still declining.

3) The growth fields all require higher education but the economy leaves absolutely no future for those who simply aren’t suited for higher education. This is something that virtually no one involved in education or employment policy wants to deal with or even admit. Yet anyone with working class relatives knows that some are simply not suited for higher education under any circumstances for a variety of reasons. This has to be taken seriously for social stability.

4) The workforce is getting old because people don’t have the money to retire. This is a big problem going forward because it also means more workers in the market, driving down wages and opening fewer jobs for younger workers. I doubt I will be any different as I age.

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