High unemployment levels here to stay
The story below clearly illustrates that a huge swath of jobs will never come back. Jobs in these sectors have been permanently eradicated, and thus it is going to make the task of finding replacement jobs even harder, especially since many of these individuals are in their late 40’s to early 60’s. They are basically going to have to learn new skills, and that is not an easy thing to do at such an age, especially when you have dedicated your whole life to a particular job.
Worse yet the remaining positions in the in the clerical field, secretarial, travel agency field, auto market sector, etc. are going to keep coming under pressure. As we see it employment numbers will remain high even when the economy starts to show real signs of life; so far the so-called signs of improvement are all bogus. For the last two years, the weak economy has provided an opportunity for employers to do what they would have done anyway: dismiss millions of people — like file clerks, ticket agents, and autoworkers — who were displaced by technological advances and international trade. The phasing out of these positions might have been accomplished through less painful means like attrition, buyouts or more incremental layoffs. But because of the recession, winter came early. The harsh environment has been especially disorienting for older and more experienced workers like Cynthia Norton, 52, an unemployed administrative assistant in Jacksonville.
“I know I’m good at this,” says Ms Norton. “So how the hell did I end up here?”
Administrative work has always been Ms Norton’s “calling,” she says, ever since she started work as an assistant for her aunt at 16, back when the uniform was a light blue polyester suit and a neckerchief. In the ensuing decades, she has filed, typed and answered phones for just about every breed of business, from a law firm to a strip club. As a secretary at the RAND Corporation, she once even had the honor of escorting Henry Kissinger around the building.
But since she was laid off from an insurance company two years ago, no one seems to need her well-honed office know-how. Ms Norton is one of 1.7 million Americans who was employed in clerical and administrative positions when the recession began but was no longer working in that occupation by the end of last year. There have also been outsized job losses in other occupation categories that seem unlikely to be revived during the economic recovery. The number of printing machine operators, for example, was nearly halved from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2009. The number of people employed as travel agents fell by 40 percent.This “creative destruction” in the job market can benefit the economy.Ms. Norton has sent out hundreds of résumés without luck. Twice, the openings she interviewed for were eliminated by employers who decided, upon further reflection, that redistributing
administrative tasks among existing employees made more sense than replacing the outgoing secretary. The problem cannot be that the occupation she has devoted her life to has been largely computerised, she says.
“You can’t replace the human thought process,” she says. “I can anticipate people’s needs. Usually, I give them what they want before they even know they need it. There will never be a machine that can do that.”Full StoryThe smart thing to do now would be to start training ASAP for jobs in the nuclear industry, oil and gas industry, health sectors, utility sector (power transmission), etc. for this is where the growth lies. We are leaving out the high-tech sectors such as a computer, biotech, a chemical engineer, a petroleum engineer, etc. because we feel that the average person is not going to want to put in the time it takes to study those filed. The smartest thing to do is to live 1-2 standards below your level and to put the money you save into long-term investments in the commodities sectors for this entire sector is in a long-term bull market. Full Story
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