lonely bird --- I stand by my comments. In this global economy jobs are being lost for a multitude of reasons, automation being the biggest factor, but changing markets for gadgets like smart phones, also have an impact on jobs. For anyone with the right skills, there is no reason why they cannot find a job provided that they are willing to uproot their families and relocate. That in itself is one reason why some people cannot find a job...for various reasons are unable to relocate.
The skilled jobs today require a higher aptitude for using equipment that is largely "computer controlled". An employer is not willing to turn over a million dollar piece of equipment to a person lacking the basic knowhow on how to run that equipment. So how does that person get trained to use that piece of equipment? It requires training and a commitment from the employee and his boss that he will stay around once trained.
Many of these new jobs don't require a college degree, but they do require a higher level of aptitude that can be gained from a community college specialized set of courses. That's why President Obama's free community college makes good sense. Here's another article of interest, an interview with René Bryce-Laporte, the outgoing program manager for Skills for America's Future:
The Atlantic: Why Jobs Go Unfilled Even in Times of High Unemployment
Companies say too many applicants just don't have the right skills. Partnerships between employers and community colleges are looking to fix that.
About 40 years ago, only one in four jobs required more than a high school education, but now about two in three jobs require more training. And workers now really need to think of learning as a lifelong task. That's a huge shift from the days when you did one job that never changed for one employer and then you retired.
Working in a factory requires a different kind of skill than it used to--the same is true in agriculture, even. I serve on a board in Arkansas, and we went to a town in the Delta that has a farm that used to have a couple hundred people working in the field. Now it employs two people, operating all the machines.
I've seen some surveys with employers who talk about problems finding workers with traditional workplace skills--showing up to work on time, having basic literacy, needing workers who can problem-solve. That's not new technology in play--some employers have always complained about these skills being absent.
Read the entire article. What is broken in our country is not our trade agreements (although I agree they need some fixing), but rather our education system, and by that I don't just mean the basic formal education one gets in academic institutions, but rather a commitment to lifelong training and retraining as technology evolves. When I graduated from college, I used a slide rule and was pretty good at it. That and my CRC book of math tables is all I needed to solve complex problems. Those skills became quickly obsolete, and I retrained myself again and again, not only in basic skills, but also those directly applicable to my profession. My company called it "continuous improvement" and me and my colleagues were forever attending courses to keep up with the latest and greatest in technology.
From my blog article on jobs: "The year 2014 is seen by many economists as a banner year for American businesses and job growth, yet some 27,000 of those businesses still filed for bankruptcy in the courts. Thankfully jobs added in the more efficient businesses and new start-ups more than offset the job losses due to bankruptcy lay-offs."
Those employees working for bankrupt companies were not so fortunate. They probably lacked the skills sets to take one of the new jobs out there, and the financial resources to get trained for those jobs. That's why we need a federal sponsored and funded job retraining program with teeth. Not just a feel good program. That's why Nancy Pelosi needs to hold out on the TAA until it can be strengthened.
Schmidt; you are talking about a "global" economy; you are forgetting that the US is destroying that; what do you want to sell to the middle east; what do you want to sell to Africa/; What do you want to sell to Europe,which has a huge problem with the Euro/Greece etc. China does not need us; Russia hates us.
So if you look at the trade picture, it does not look all that good. Ask Caterpillar etc. Just keeping the economy flowing on the war industry and printing money does nor work either eventually. The trade agreements may look good, but in practice they create again bureaucracy which limits flexibility as well added paperwork cost etc. All these things put a brake on "free" trade. Also the US efforts to control all bank movements worldwide of US and foreign companies have an effect on smooth trade. So I'm of the opinion that job growth here will not further improve because of our foreign policies. not just skill levels is an issue.