Millions of jobs have been lost and buried under the economic rubble of 2008, with only a ‘Hail Marys’ hope of resuscitation in the current economic climate. What isn’t as obvious is, at the heart of today’s 8.6 percent unemployment rate, sits the greatest skills mismatch our economy has ever seen. We have many Americans still training (or waiting) for jobs in industries which aren’t coming back. The grave of these industries will soon firmly reside in the ashes of the roaringly irresponsible financial times of 2008, with no hope of becoming a phoenix, and rising from the ashes to be born again.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there are ten industries who are projected to grow the fastest between 2008-2018, here’s 5 of the 10: management, scientific and technical consulting services, data processing (hosting, information services), specialized design services, education, and home health care. The commonality between all of these industries is they’re all service-based, and require highly skilled workers.
The BLS also states the following ten industries (and their manufacturing sectors, specifically) will look to cut the most jobs during the same period, here’s five of the ten: cut and sew apparel (manufacturing), fabric mills, audio/video equipment manufacturing, railroad rolling, and footwear manufacturing. The commonality between all of these industries is they’re all production-based.
It’s no secret that employers are looking for people with skills more relevant to the current economy, and one of the greatest things people can do is prepare themselves for this shift. There are a multitude of opportunities out there. Consulting services are perfect for aging professionals to pass wisdom and guidance on to startups - PR 2.0 maybe? Data processing, web design, graphic design, and illustration have all been creating jobs – infographics included – and focusing on the development of these jobs will be the beginning to solving this mismatch we’re currently presented with.
This shift in need for highly skilled workers can be just the thing to propel a living, breathing solution to the concerns raised by the Occupy movement. Most had jobs, but were sick of the way Wall St. not only treated them, but everyone below them (hear what’s being overheard in the Goldman Sachs elevators). Who’s to say that ‘we’ as a collective, creative, design - internet - community, can’t create the jobs of the future? Nothing could feel better than creating thousands of jobs out of a need we identified ourselves. If the creative community can create their own jobs, then that is a direct win for the Occupy movement. Essentially, we don’t need Wall St. to fix the situation, because they won’t. But, what we can do, is show them how important we are to the future success of their world. We need to hit them where it hurts – their wallet – because that’s the only thing they’ll ever understand. I mean come on, let’s see them design and create a ridiculously cool HTML5 iOS App for their company. Oh wait, that’s right…they can’t. God, I love technology!