Finding a Job in the 21st Century

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					© 2009 World Future Society • 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 450, Bethesda, MD 20814, U.S.A. • All rights reserved.




Finding a Job in the 21st Century
Seek training, be flexible, and get hired in the fast-moving working
world of the future.                            By John A. Challenger

                                                             JORIS VAN CASPEL / YIEN KEAT WONG / LAURENCE GOUGH / PETER CLOSE / ALEXANDER ZHUKOVSKY / ISTOCKPHOTO

      The current recession, expected to be the
    worst economic crisis since the Great De-
    pression, will surely put to rest those old
    concerns about looming labor shortages,
    right? Probably not. In fact, immigration,
    globalization, outsourcing, and other trends
    affecting employment and the workplace
    will evolve over the next five, 10, and 20
    years to change the workplace completely,
    and well-trained and flexible workers will
    be at a premium.
      More than 5 million layoffs have been an-
    nounced in the United States since the be-
    ginning of 2008. Economists are projecting
    that U.S. unemployment may top out at
    10.5% or over 11% by the middle of 2010.
                              At Challenger,
                            Gray & Christmas,
                            we look at official




                                                              THE FUTURIST              September-October 2009                www.wfs.org            29
unemployment, but we also track
job-cut announcements. These pro-             U.S. Employment Ups and Downs, 2006-2016
vide an indication of where the job
market is going in the short term.
   We observed in April that the rate         The Five Largest Employment Increases
of layoffs, while still high, was slow-
                                               Job                            Employees, 2006    Employees, 2016    Percentage Change
ing. The global economy was not en-
tering a roaring recovery, but we              Network Systems and Data           262,000            402,000             53.4%
were hearing faint signals that the            Communications Analyst
worst of the worst was over. On the
                                               Personal and Home Care Aide        767,000          1.16 million          50.6%
one hand, manufacturing jobs in the
United States continued to vanish.             Home Health Aide                   787,000          1.17 million          48.7%
On the other hand, the layoff rate in
                                               Computer Software Engineer         507,000            733,000             44.6%
the financial sector seemed to have
stabilized.                                    Veterinary Technologist/            71,000            100,000             41.0%
  At our firm, we talk to human-               Technician
resources people around the country
on a casual, anecdotal basis; the
people we’re speaking with are tak-           The Five Largest Employment Declines
ing whatever measures they can to
                                               Job                           Employees, 2006     Employees, 2016    Percentage Change
avoid making further layoffs. They
don’t want to be short-staffed in the          Photographic Processing             49,000             25,000             -49.8%
event of a turnaround. The current             Machine Operator
cycle will surely go down in history
                                               File Clerk                         234,000            137,000             -41.3%
as the worst in most people’s mem-
ory. Fortunately, the future of work           Sewing Machine Operator            233,000            170,000             -27.2%
looks completely different.
                                               Electrical and Electronic          213,000            156,000             -26.8%
                                               Equipment Assembler
Key Piece of Advice for Job
                                               Computer Operator                  130,000             98,000             -24.7%
Seekers
   As unemployment continues to
                                              Source: “Employment Projections: 2006-2016.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Web site,
rise, more people are seeking help to         www.bls.gov.
improve their employability. My key
piece of advice for job seekers is to
get a fast start. Don’t let your résumé   weak of late. Our firm counted lay-                 
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Immigration, globalization, outsourcing, and other trends affecting employment and the workplace will evolve over the next five, 10, and 20 years to change the workplace completely, and well-trained and flexible workers will be at a premium. The coming innovation leap that will sweep the health-care field will extend well beyond simply digitizing medical records. If the industry is to meet rising demands for service from an aging population and contain costs, it will become much more reliant on information technology. IBM is one of the first big companies to transition out of overseas expansion and into a more community-focused strategy. In February 2009, IBM gave 4,000 laid-off workers the opportunity to move to other countries where the company had positions open (India and Brazil, for example) through a program called Project Match. IBM's Perfect Match program showcases one of the biggest trends to affect the future of work: increased mobility and flexibility.
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