According to the Economic Policy Institute 28% US workers will remain in low paying jobs in 2020 which is the same as in 2010. Globalization & technology is the reason as some previous blog posts have indicated and this post gets into some more details. But first let's understand the different levels of skills and pay that is involved in a service ecoonomy.
- Low-skill physical presence jobs: These are the jobs that make up the 28% The jobs include retail salespeople, store clerks,cashiers and food service workers. But set to grow are occupations such as farming, personal care, building and grounds maintenance andhealthcare unskillled support. And these occupations pay less than the hourly poverty wage, which is why it is so hard to attract local apple pickers in Washington State, for example. These jobs don't really need a college degree and yeat there are large numbers of employees in retail for example, who have college degrees just because they can't find better paid jobs.
- Mid-Skill-Middle Class jobs: These started disappearing from the early 2000's with the onslaught of technology and globalization. Manufacturing moved overseas and many services moved to technology (eg. tax software) or when it was routine it was outsourced overseas. And this was before the recession.
- High Skill-Physical Presence Jobs: As the CNN report points out, there are simply not enough jobs in this category. For example an advanced plastic prototype making plant, or involved in biotechnology can employ only an order of dozens of employees. A very much lesser number than the old steel plants. Even in this category high skill high pay work can be outsourced to low-cost locations. A famous example is of radiologists reading x-rays from Bangalore India. And even in radiology, routine stuff is being handled by technology.
Low-skill and low pay is likely to stay but overqualified college educated folks in low-skill, low-pay jobs need to be able to find better opportunities. Contact StratoServe.