jobs

Technology can lead to better jobs, more prosperity says MIT report

After two years of research on technology and jobs, MIT’s Task Force on the Work of the Future has issued its final report, and the news is hopeful: with better policies in place, more people could enjoy good careers even as new technology transforms workplaces.

Pandemic speeding automation; impact on jobs could worsen inequality

New analysis from the World Economic Forum (WEF) forecasts an 85 million global loss in jobs by the year 2025 due to pandemic-induced increase in technology adoption. While social distancing measures such as remote work have already brought many white collar workers into the “future of work,” the quickened pace of technology adoption and automation across all sectors will create greater employment challenges for lower paid and lower skilled workers. The WEF’s Future of Jobs Report 2020 also indicates that the jobs created to work with these new technologies could reach 97 million by 2025. However, business leaders and the public sector must take action to promote equitable workforce development and prepare all workers for the jobs of the future.

While the bulk of the report takes a global perspective, the WEF also provides several country-specific profiles. The trends in the U.S. profile indicate that 57.6 percent of companies surveyed are accelerating the automation of tasks in response to the pandemic, and 91.5 percent are accelerating the digitization of work processes, while only 44.1 percent are implementing upskilling and reskilling programs. As companies increasingly rely on technology — and the use of technology — to complete essential business functions, displaced workers will face increasing demand for new, technology-based skills.

Manufacturing sector’s economic contributions celebrated while reports caution uneven regional and racial benefits

As Manufacturing Day continues to be recognized throughout the month of October, the Census Bureau issued a press release highlighting the key economic contributions of the manufacturing sector. The release highlighted the increases in the value of shipments and employment in the manufacturing sector from 2017 to 2018, as well as the sector’s nearly 60 percent share of U.S. exports. But a recent report from Policy Matters Ohio and The Century Foundation set a more cautionary note. Analyzing data over a much longer period and focused on four states in the Great Lakes region, the report finds that manufacturing jobs had not yet recovered to pre-Great Recession levels even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, and that the wage advantage of manufacturing has continued to erode compared to other sectors in the region.

Useful Stats: Job Creation by Firm Age, 2014-2018

For years, there have been arguments back and forth on which companies are the greatest job creators. The argument began with advocates for small businesses saying that small businesses were the engine of job creation. In recent years, others have argued that it’s not the size of the business that’s significant so much as the age of the business and that it’s young businesses that create most of the jobs.

Analysis by SSTI of Census Bureau’s Business Employment Dynamics (BDM) data finds a more nuanced picture when examining states’ shares of net job creation by firm age.

Manufacturers' outlook strong; demand for skilled workers grows

In the first quarter Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for 2019, manufacturers continue to report a positive outlook for their own company and marked nine consecutive quarters of record optimism. However, their top concern remains the inability to attract and retain a quality workforce (71.3 percent cited the inability to attract skilled workers as their top challenge).

Clean energy jobs will require workforce transition

Earth Day has evolved from environmental consciousness raising in its beginnings in the early 1970s to this year’s celebration surrounded with climate change concerns and development of the clean energy industry..  A recent report from the Brookings Institution shows more discussion needs to happen around the types of workers, activities and skills that will be needed in the clean energy industry, and how those efforts can be more inclusive. Transitioning to a clean energy economy will involve 320 unique occupations spread across clean energy production, energy efficiency and environmental management, the authors found. The report highlights the fact that those workers earn higher and more equitable wages compared to all workers nationally, and many of those occupations tend to have lower educational requirements.

BFTP programs boost PA economy by $4.1 billion over five years

An independent economic analysis of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners reveals its impact on Pennsylvania’s economy — boosting the overall economy by $4.1 billion between 2012 and 2016, helping to create 11,407 high-paying jobs and generating $385 million in tax receipts for the state. Because the jobs were created in industries that pay 52 percent higher than the average nonfarm salary in Pennsylvania, the impact on the state’s GSP was greater, according to the report.

New report urges consistency from higher ed on job placement rates

A new report from The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) released last week describes the misleading perceptions resulting from employment rates used by the three entities tasked with oversight of the U.S. higher education system and proposes two specific measurements that could better inform student choices.

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