Now that our politicians and corporate leaders have paused to catch their breath from racing to oursource North American jobs to China, India and other low-wage countries, it is time once again to take stock of what jobs are left and how you can compete to get a piece of that action. Frankly, it is getting tougher by the day. On the horizon is the TPP and that is definitely not going to help any of us. (Enter TPP in our search engine to learn more.)
What is interesting though is the higher multiplier effect that comes from high-tech jobs compared to manufacturing jobs. Be careful, though, when applying to high-technology jobs. All of our attention has been focused on all those MILLIONS of manufacturing jobs which paid modestly-educated people a very handsome compensation package and which have been shipped overseas. For now, we still have some high-technology jobs remaining right here in America…but don’t get too cocky on that one, either. Don’t let yourself become too complacent about high-technology jobs forever. Nothing lasts forever. Rather, you should expect that those jobs, too, will soon migrate to highly skilled and highly educated, yet, poorly paid, workers outside of North America. Nonetheless, if you are forced to go out job hunting or you feel compelled to do so because of the writing on the wall at your company, you may be able to score well by focusing your attention on what are known as “STEM” jobs: science, technology, engineering and math.
According to a 2012 report, these jobs appear to be more resilient and may provide a wee bit more job security than other jobs. And there is reason to be relocating your service job close to those high-technology jobs.
Government statistics claim that manufacturing jobs created only 1.4 service and support jobs. [Canadian politicians have bandied a multiplier as high as 1 manufacturing job creates 7 service jobs. I guess, whatever it takes to get elected, huh?!] This report claims that about 4.3 service jobs are created for every 1 high-technology job. This leveraging effect is know as the high-technology “job multiplier effect”. But take careful note of the types of jobs included in that 4.3 multiplier. You will discover lawyers, dentists, schoolteachers, cooks and retail clerks, and especially what hamburger flippers and bigbox-store greeters.
And, no, you don’t necessarily have to move to California. Another new reality is setting in. As the demand for high-technology workers rises, so, too, does property values, rental rates, and the cost of just about everything serving people in those high-technology locales. So lower-cost-of-living states are starting to succeed in temporarily attracting high-technology firms. But don’t rest on your laurels. As soon as American companies can, they will rush to export even the high-technology jobs. We have to be thankful for those socialism- programs our American government provides such as unemployment insurance and the dole.
In the near future, even high-technology jobs will be outsourced to highly qualified, but poorly paid workers located overseas. We have already witnessed that with the migration of computer technology jobs to India and the screwing by lobbyists you got when your elected officials lowered visa requirements for high-technology workers from those low-wage, skilled countries.
So, if you are planning to do some job hopping, our first piece of wisdom is, “Don’t”, unless you see signs that your company is struggling and you think you will soon be on the chopping block. If you do feel you must jump ship, and if you are blessed to be among the few who were well educated in math and sciences, you may have a fighting chance by applying to the technology sector.
In the high-technology company arena it is hard to tell which technology is going to have longevity. So, even if you land a good high-technology job, be sure to keep your skills and resume sharp and you may have a fighting chance to land a good job and a good-paying job.
[Source: “Technology Works: High-Tech Employment and Wages in the United States.” A Bay Area Council Economic Institute Report, commissioned by Engine Advocacy. December 2012]