Tag Archives: Jobs

JOBS / Life / Career Changes / Income Expectations / TeleEverything / Retirement … and about those damned robots

JOBS / Life / Career Changes / Income Expectations / TeleEverything / Retirement … and about those damned robots

by Bill Golden
CEO, USAJobZoo.com
aka IntelligenceCareers.com

Think different. Start yesterday. That is when the future arrived.

What made for success in the past is not a guarantee for the future … your market value no longer ‘always increases’ … expect some skills to remain popular but value to drop … some to increase … expect flat salaries over the next decade … wherever you go there you are: always have a Plan B as you will probably change your core ‘what I do for a living’ at least 5-8 times before you finally collect a retirement check … from your 401K or IRA which you funded throughout your life … right?

How often will you change jobs in life? Survey sez …

A Department of Labor report from summer of 2012 found that the average American age 18-46 would change employers an average of 11.3 times … half of those changes would be between the ages 18-24.

++++ This information is not based on our current generation but on the experiences of Boomers born between 1957-1964.

++++ I realize that the numbers are probably quite different for today’s age group of 18-24 … many of whom are still trying to find that first job.

For those ages 24 and under: employment in your age group has always been challenging. In the old days (like 20 years ago) we still had a lot of manual-based labor jobs that you could always slide into while figuring out what life meant and where it was taking you. Those same opportunities are far fewer today … but so is the requirement for education. Survey says that for those currently under the age of 30: college degrees matter, even when applying for jobs that do not pay well.

As for salary and income expectation, things have changed immensely since even the mid-2000s. For experienced professionals it was not uncommon for an employer to ask you for a salary history for either your last 2-3 jobs or for the last 10 years. The idea behind was that real talent is always growing in compensation — resumes can say anything but the proof is in the money that you get as to how good you are.

In a recent Atlantic Magazine article entitled Robots Won’t Steal Your Job Next Decade (They’ll Just Steal Your Raise), the magazine talks about income remaining flat through about 2017 and then a miracle happens where income just takes off … recovering to 2005 levels by 2020 … or almost recovering to 2005 levels … if the miracle happens — which Atlantic calls the Little Orphan Annie theory of recoveries — catchup growth is always just a year away, until it’s another year away.

Future Outlook

We do more with less. MUCH LESS … or perhaps more grammatically correct: many fewer … people … we can do more with many fewer people … and at higher profit margins, too.

The headline of the Atlantic Magazine article mentions ‘Robots’ but what we are really talking about is the ability of information technologies when combined with physical and organizational processes.

Automation of processes, collaboration, logistics integration and manufacturing are the challenges that our workforce faces today and in the immediate future; these are the folks whose primary role in our economic society is to trade services for a paycheck … and since they no longer live on a farm then they need that paycheck to buy food and they need that paycheck to do all the things which they can no longer do as when our culture was primary rural and small town … as it was just a generation or so ago.

We need a bigger conversation about JOBS JOBS JOBS … because the future has arrived.

Think different. Start yesterday. That is when the future arrived.

Best regards,

Bill Golden

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JOBS / $$ / March 1st Sequestration Cuts

JOBS / $$ / March 1st Sequestration Cuts … 800,000 civilian furloughs coming … this is going to hurt | USADefenseIndustryJobs.com – http://ow.ly/hTrNb … Bill Golden has a few thoughts on this topic.

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JOBS / Disconnected from America?

JOBS / Disconnected from America? http://ow.ly/hDJVf

… Bill Golden says that it feels great living in the metro Washington DC area. The seven counties of northern Virginia and most of southern Maryland are truly the land of plenty. What few issues we have must sound like whining to the rest of America.

What happens if we were to wake up and ‘being smart’ were no longer enough? Metro Washington DC is made up primarily of knowledge capital workers. For various reasons there is a huge concentrated demand for these folks … living at the center of the empire as they do.

But what if anything were to disrupt the need for that knowledge? Are these Knowledge Workers smart enough to have a Plan B or C?

Chances are that this region of the USA could find itself in some turmoil over the next few years.

Washington Post headline on February 12th, 2013: One in 7 Washington households in the top 5 percent

VIEW interactive map of where wealth exists in the USA: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/nation/census-high-income/

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Jobs Report December 2012 – The BIG Picture as to where jobs numbers are going

Below are December 2012 jobs numbers and where they fit in the big picture.

2012 Jobs Recovery Chart as of Dec 2012

Get updates online at CRGraphs.com

The big picture has been that the jobs recovery period has been taking longer and longer and looooooooonger for jobs to return to their high point.

Back in 2009 a number of economic models were published that pointed to 2017 as the probable year when jobs finally recover to 2007 levels.

There are also some dark sides to the models that say full recovery will not be until 2022-24.

There are many different reasons as to why it is taking longer and longer for jobs to recover — and they never did recover to their high point from the 2001 Recession; the percentage of employed Americans has continually dropped since 2001 … with today being 2012 and that trend continuing.

You can blame left policies. You can blame right policies. But mostly we are doing two things which almost guarantee fewer jobs.

#1 is that we are enjoying the benefits of an information society tied to both industry and to productivity. The productivity rate of Americans is almost double that of population growth. Bottomline: we can do more with less, and when times get difficult we really can do much more with less … and once we do then there is no going back.

#2 is that our economy is so integrated with the world economy that we no longer feel bad selling our fellow citizens down the river if we can get a better price on a product produced anywhere else in the world. That may sound cynical but it is reality. There may be American flags flying at our shopping malls and in front of mega-stores but concepts like ‘borders’ and having an ‘integral economy’ really do not matter in our modern world — the only thing that matters is our own job which will enable us to keep buying whatever from wherever whenever we want.

Thoughts and ideas?

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Jobs – Jobs – Jobs! … or is it really just Talking Point Agendas that gets presidents elected/reelected?

Do we really know or care how economics work in our daily lives?

Or do we just want magic to happen and to not be bothered by the thought of it all?!

Please, just sell us some good talking points. Give us some more happy talk. Give us some more trash talk that we can believe in!

President Obama is taking repeated butt kicks over his seeming inability to jumpstart the jobs market. Yet even with having to deal with the Great Recession’s fallout, President Obama statistically has a better track record in the jobs department than does his predecessor, President Bush.

—–>> Reality is that both presidents Bush and Obama have experienced the same phenomena when it comes to jobs creation. Jobs creation has been sluggish since 2001 and there seems to be few ideas for jumpstarting jobs growth that actually yields more than momentary results — and generally unimpressive results. We can do more with less and we are. Welcome to the future.

Erstwhile conservative commentator and former GOP Congressman Joe Scarborough posted the jobs-created-by-president chart below on his Facebook page, along with the comments that follow the chart.

Jobs by president 1960-2012 - Joe Scarborough

“Job growth is obviously what everybody talks about as a major factor in these elections…[Bill] Clinton is sort of the gold standard with 9.9% job growth. And then you see both Obama and Bush 43 essentially with no job growth…You see a mixed picture of presidents who got re-elected and how the job growth corresponds. What’s not on here is Jimmy Carter, who actually had the best job growth of all of them. He had 12% job growth during his first four years and still didn’t get re-elected.”
Joe Scarborough, Oct 18, 2012

If a president deserves credit for jobs creation, do they deserve that credit because of their policies? … or do they deserve it because of their use of the bully pulpit to push change in a given direction? … or do they deserve credit only if we like their partisan left-or-right highest ranking most popular talking points?

Jimmy Carter is considered a weak president and yet Carter is the platinum standard by which jobs growth could or perhaps should be judged.

Bill Clinton is universally the recipient of good will for strong jobs creation during his tenure, and President Reagan is held in the highest esteem by the Center-Right even though Reagan only comes in third place for jobs creation during his time in office.

Let’s consider policy. Policy is why we say that we elect presidents. We know President Obama’s record: weak jobs growth but there is now stability. So is the New Romney better equipped than the Old Romney? When Romney took office as governor of Massachusetts his state ranked #37 in jobs growth and by the end of his term Massachusetts was #47. Yet we hear constantly that Romney has the experience and the business background to grow jobs. He is a businessman, a CEO. So what happened in Massachusetts? Do policies actually matter?

The impact of policy adjusts itself over time. What works during one time period may completely flop the next.

As well, the productiveness of a policy even during the same presidency may only have a very short impact, positive or negative. When Bush jumpstarted the economy in late 2006 his tax policies policies produced only two quarters of above average jobs growth and then jobs growth returned to its downward path — even though the amount of money coming into and flowing into the economy continued to grow.

One of the reasons that jobs growth under Bush 43 was so poor (essentially the same as under Obama) was that our economy had adjusted itself to take advantage of technologic efficiencies while also getting rid of a large portion of manual labor (shifting those jobs overseas).

The math that bit Bush and Obama will also bite whomever is president during the next four years. We have embraced a policy path that puts profits before people. That may be good for folks at the Walmart, K-mart and Target checkout counters but it is not producing jobs.

If it is all about Jobs Jobs Jobs! then maybe we need to acknowledge that perhaps we have broken the system and need to reconsider the entire concept of work, compensation and jobs growth.


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12,000,000 New Jobs from 2013-2017? Bill4DogCatcher does the math.

Governor Romney has set 12,000,000 new jobs within four years as his jobs creation goal, and is chiding President Obama for not being capable of achieving that.

Many prominent economists have predicted 12,000,000 new jobs (an increase over the number of people working today) as the expected rate for jobs growth during this period (2013-2017) under normal circumstances.

Those normal circumstances are that jobs keep up with population growth.

Here is the math:

If jobs grow in direct proportion to population growth of 1.01%/year then over four years that works out to 12,560,000 jobs created, or 3,140,000 jobs per year as an average. However those 12 million jobs still represent a ZERO SUM GAIN and does nothing to replace any of the jobs lost since 2007’s Great Recession. Those jobs only represent the needs of current population growth.

—–> The Math: U.S. population is 314M (3Q 2012) / 100 * 1.01 = 3.14M jobs/year … or 261,667 jobs per month are needed to keep up with population growth.

The challenge for whomever is the next president is that the U.S. productivity rate is currently 2.2% (2Q 2012), which is double the rate of population growth. Theoretically, with a ratio of 1.01:2.2% (population growth:productivity growth), the need for workers is decreasing at twice the rate of population growth.

—–> The Math: If productivity continues to increase at its current rate then mathematically we should expect jobs growth at only half the rate of population growth (261,667 jobs = 1.01% population growth per month). So if only half the number of jobs are needed to match the growth in productivity then that number works out to just 130,833 jobs per month as being the expected monthly average.

During 2012, the 2012 average monthly jobs growth rate has been 146,000 jobs per month as of October which is appropriate for what the math tells us should be norm. If that remains the case (productivity rate vs population growth) then what we are probably looking at as realistically being the expected number for jobs growth between 2013-2017 is just 6-7 million jobs, not 12 million or higher.

Things can change but math says that we are where we should be without some game changer. Where we are is that jobs are not growing to match population growth, not even close.

The chart below shows jobs growth since 1980 as a percentage of Americans having a job. Since 2001, the percentage of Americans with jobs has dropped almost every year and incrementally almost every month since 2001. The exception was a strong but short-lived growth in jobs in late 2006 and early 2007.

BLS 1980-2012 Labor Participation Rate

BLS 1980-2012 Labor Participation Rate

Here is what the chart looks like on a monthly basis since 1980:

BLS 1980-2012 Labor Participation Rate by Year and Month

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Economic Blame – the real culprits are the lazy welfare-sucking poor

Blaming the poor, those on welfare, and the idiots sitting on their asses who aren’t looking for a job has become very popular as of late.

Surely there aren’t enough jobs just because companies have learned to do more with less, far less. No, there aren’t jobs because the lazy people (not you or me but them!) aren’t working or looking for work. // This is a bit of warped logic to me. So if the lazy people had jobs and thus they had paychecks then that would put more money into our economic system and that would create jobs. Right? Trickle-up economics?!

Very popular on Facebook and on various blogs is the graphic below.

Needy versus Lazy people

Needy versus Lazy people

Are they really lazy? With some 24,000,000 unemployed or underemployed could it be that we’ve become just a nation of people sitting on our asses hoping that the check comes soon?

Or could it be that we are just passing the blame because we’ve run out of ideas … and perhaps the case may also be that business and its cheerleaders are fostering the notion that there are jobs if you just look — so please let’s cut taxes and let’s help business become stable in order to create jobs … even if (mid-to-large) business has achieved historical highs of profitability almost every quarter since early 2010.

So are we just sitting on our asses and being lazy OR are we out there looking?

Premise: I believe that the overwhelming majority of folks are looking for jobs — and if a job is available then they are taking it!

The data seems to support my premise via the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) tracking:


View most recent BLS JOLTS data.

Sure there are jobs out there. Some. Somewhere.

If folks look carefully at the jobs chart you will see that the number of jobs being filled (the green line) is at the peak of the availability of jobs (the blue line/peak).

What this means is that jobs are being filled as quickly as they become available, and as hires are made.

So yes there may be X number of jobs available but there is always a percentage margin of jobs available that go unfilled on any given day. Some estimates are that there are 3 million jobs available (advertised) nationwide. That sounds impressive but with there being 141 million jobs in the current workforce you’ll see that 3M jobs really equals only 1.4% of all existing jobs being available. The math doesn’t work out to where the answer is “You need to get off your ass and get a job” … as if that were a good solution to people being out of work.

It all comes down to math. For example, North Dakota has jobs in energy that pay well. Sure we could encourage the unemployed to abandon their 30 year mortgage, sell their belongings and spend $6-10,000 relocating to North Dakota where they might find a job, if they were qualified.

Qualified? What? No on the job training? No schooling available? Certifications and higher degrees are needed?

Almost half of American employers say that they can’t find qualified hires … not even with 24,000,000 million underemployed and unemployed looking (well some still are).

The good news is that the lazy and those less well off don’t have much to say — because if they do then we’ll just hit ’em with a pee test to see if they qualify for their unemployment benefits.

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Which Political Party Knows How to Create Jobs?

Mitt Romney recently criticized President Obama saying that we should be growing jobs at the rate of 500,000 per month

That sounds a lot like Newt Gingrich’s promise of $2.50 per gallon of gasoline if we elected him.

Only once — in 1978 — has the economy topped 500,000 jobs two months in a row and that was when Jimmy Carter was president … Obama had one such month in May of 2010 with 516,000 jobs. Reagan had one such month in 8 years of his presidency, and neither Bush ever hit this level. Clinton also got just one 500,000+ month.

Paper or plastic? Private Jobs Increase More With Democrats in White HouseBloomberg.

Since President Kennedy, private industry jobs growth has been much greater under Democratic presidents. Government growth records go to the Republicans.

Isn’t that the opposite of what we constantly hear?

While I remain a Reagan fan — his legend should be that he was a generally inspirational figure that was the right person at the right time — jobs creation under Reagan was strong but not any kind of record setter.

Jobs growth under the different presidents — although I am not sure that they all deserve credit/discredit for the jobs created — am not a political partisan:

Kennedy/Johnson 3.12%
Johnson 3.63%
Nixon 2.17%
Nixon/Ford 1.96%
Carter 2.3%
Reagan 81-84: 1.75%
Reagan 85-88: 2.53%
Bush 41: .69%
Clinton 93-96: 2.6%
Clinton 96-2000: 1.6%
Bush 43 ’01-04: .51%
Bush 43 05-08: .84%
Obama: .75%

Noting that jobs growth has slowed significantly since Clinton’s second term, what can we do to create jobs?

What can we really do?

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Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! Consumer spending now exceeds pre-recession levels but jobs aren’t coming back … not soon.

Edward Luce is the Washington bureau chief of the Financial Times, London.

The US labor market may never fully recover, recently wrote Edward Luce, who lives in the numbers and tracks them.

So what does ‘may never fully recover’ mean? It means simply that despite any actual economic growth in dollar value there is little reason for the number of jobs to actually grow in the foreseeable future.

Due in part to the duration of the Great Recession, our economy has adjusted to function without the need to rehire those that lost jobs. Please consider that consumer spending has returned to pre-recession levels since November 2010. Yet, here we are a year later with consumer spending now greater ($9.4T) than June 2007 ($9.2T) when the recession started and  more are unemployed today than at the depth of the recession — despite supposedly improving unemployment numbers.

In perspective, 64.4% of Americans had jobs in January 2011. Six months after the 2007 recession began, 62.9% of Americans had jobs. Employment dropped but still stayed about 60% until March 2009 with 59.9% unemployed at the very depth of massive job losses. Yet more than two and a half years later in November 2011 just 58.5% of Americans have jobs DESPITE 14 months of supposed jobs  growth and continuous growth in consumer spending.

A common mantra has been that the jobs would come back when people started spending again. Hello! They’ve been spending for a year and the actual number of Americans employed has continued to drop.

Bottomline: The marketplace has achieved efficiencies in labor usage and costs that represents a trend for our future. It is a trend that may be able to decrease the need for labor well above our population growth for the next decade or more.

Edward Luce goes on to note:

“If there is an explanation as to why middle-class incomes have stagnated in the past generation, this is it: whatever jobs the US is able to create are in the least efficient sectors – the types that neither computers nor China have yet found a way of eliminating. That trend is starting to lap at the feet of more highly educated American workers. And, as the shift continues, higher-paying jobs are also increasingly at risk … What, then, can be done to revitalise the increasingly sclerotic jobs market? If the answer were simple, it would have been on everyone’s lips a long time ago. Unfortunately, there is no precedent for the challenges America faces, and thus little consensus among economists or policymakers on the best remedies. However, almost everyone agrees on how to ensure the situation does not deteriorate.”

Bill4DogCatcher.com sez: it is time to think about how to create your own job in your own community with skills and services and products that your neighbors need. It is in someways time to return to a community-centric view of the world.

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When is a cloud just a dream — rather than a savory Apple pie?

by Bill Golden
CEO, USAJobZoo.com
and IntelligenceCareers.com

When is a cloud just a dream — rather than a savory Apple pie?

Apple invested $300 million to build a cloud center at an internet and highway crossroads in North Carolina. The dream was that the cloud would bring jobs and growth to a community hard hit by foreign competition.

Certainly the cloud makes for a good enabler of telework and can help lower costs for businesses that are information-intensive.

There are costs, however. Local investments in such technology does not mean that there will be local jobs.

Apple got a $46 million state tax break in North Carolina to build one of its new cloud centers. The promise was that at least 250 jobs would be created.

So far the actual job count is perhaps 50 employed, or $920,000 in tax breaks per job. Combine state tax breaks with a local 50% reduction in Apple’s property taxes and it soon seems that Carolinians are paying their own wages via statewide taxes to work at the Apple cloud facility.

The future of jobs as one industry analyst frames such investments: “… in the newer digital economy, capital investments that a generation ago would have created thousands of new positions often equal only a handful today, with computers and software processing the heavy lifting while the key programming is often done by engineers back in Silicon Valley.”

The cloud also is a two-edged sword. So while the cloud enables telework and can help lower costs for businesses that are information-intensive, it can also be the vehicle for transferring work to whereever the work can be done at a lesser cost.

For communities such as the one in North Carolina that hosts the Apple cloud facility, the cloud may well cost them more jobs than it will create unless they find a way to harness the power of the cloud rather than just have it live in their backyard while paying for its existence through tax credits and lost state tax revenue which they will pay through other forms of taxation.


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