Most Popular
1. Banking Crisis is Stocks Bull Market Buying Opportunity - Nadeem_Walayat
2.The Crypto Signal for the Precious Metals Market - P_Radomski_CFA
3. One Possible Outcome to a New World Order - Raymond_Matison
4.Nvidia Blow Off Top - Flying High like the Phoenix too Close to the Sun - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Apple AAPL Stock Trend and Earnings Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
6.AI, Stocks, and Gold Stocks – Connected After All - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Stock Market CHEAT SHEET - - Nadeem_Walayat
8.US Debt Ceiling Crisis Smoke and Mirrors Circus - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Silver Price May Explode - Avi_Gilburt
10.More US Banks Could Collapse -- A Lot More- EWI
Last 7 days
US Interest Rates - When WIll the Fed Pivot - 1st Mar 2024
S&P Stock Market Real Earnings Yield - 29th Feb 2024
US Unemployment is a Fake Statistic - 29th Feb 2024
U.S. financial market’s “Weimar phase” impact to your fiat and digital assets - 29th Feb 2024
What a Breakdown in Silver Mining Stocks! What an Opportunity! - 29th Feb 2024
Why AI will Soon become SA - Synthetic Intelligence - The Machine Learning Megatrend - 29th Feb 2024
Keep Calm and Carry on Buying Quantum AI Tech Stocks - 19th Feb 24
How to Profit from the Global Warming ClImate Change Mega Death Trend - Part1 - 17th Feb 24
Why Rising Shipping Costs Won't Cause Inflation - 17th Feb 24
Intensive 6 Week Stock Market Elliott Wave Training Course - 17th Feb 24
INFLATION and the Stock Market Trend - 17th Feb 24
GameStop (GME): 88% Shellacking Yet No Lesson Learned - 17th Feb 24
Nick Millican Explains Real Estate Investment in a Changing World - 17th Feb 24
US Stock Market Addicted to Deficit Spending - 7th Feb 24
Stocks Bull Market Commands It All For Now - 7th Feb 24
Financial Markets Narrative Nonsense - 7th Feb 24
Gold Price Long-Term Outlook Could Not Look Better - 7th Feb 24
Stock Market QE4EVER - 7th Feb 24
Learn How to Accumulate and Distribute (Trim) Stock Positions to Maximise Profits - Investing 101 - 5th Feb 24
US Exponential Budget Deficit - 5th Feb 24
Gold Tipping Points That Investors Shouldn’t Miss - 5th Feb 24
Banking Crisis Quietly Brewing - 5th Feb 24
Stock Market Major Market lows by Calendar Month - 4th Feb 24
Gold Price’s Rally is Normal, but Is It Really Bullish? - 4th Feb 24
More Problems in US Regional Banking System: Where There's Fire There's Smoke - 4th Feb 24
New Hints of US Election Year Market Interventions & Turmoil - 4th Feb 24
Watch Consumer Spending to Know When the Fed Will Cut Interest Rates - 4th Feb 24
STOCK MARKET DISCOUNTING EVENTS BIG PICTURE - 31st Jan 24
Blue Skies Ahead As Stock Market Is Expected To Continue Much Higher - 31st Jan 24
What the Stock Market "Fear Index" VIX May Be Signaling - 31st Jan 24
Stock Market Trend Forecast Review - 31st Jan 24

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Here’s How to Stay Ahead of Machines and AI

Politics / AI Feb 20, 2017 - 04:01 PM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

Politics

BY PATRICK WATSON : The Great American Jobs Apocalypse continues to tear our social fabric, and no one really knows what to do about it. If you’re not unemployed or underemployed now, then you know someone who is… and you could always be next.

I keep coming back to this theme in Connecting the Dots (subscribe here for free). That’s because it’s a monumental, paradigm-changing problem, and it affects all of us.


While I don’t have definitive answers, I managed to put together more of the puzzle pieces.

Work Is About More Than Money

We the People (aka Mainstream America) are angry and frustrated—and we are making our feelings known. The open public discontent has left many economist and politicians flabbergasted: With a historically low unemployment rate of 4.9%, what seems to be the problem?

For most people, work is not just about money...it's also about self-worth. You can be “employed” but still feel unappreciated due to low wages, missing job security, or inability to use your best skills.

The government’s unemployment numbers miss part of the story. They don’t, for example, show how many people aren’t getting enough hours to make ends meet and/or lack job satisfaction. But some recent surveys do.

  • According to a 2016 survey from PayScale, 46% of workers (roughly 22 million Americans) think they're “underemployed”—which is being defined as either working part time or having a job that doesn’t allow them to use their education or skills.
  • A 2016 Gallup poll found that only 32% of US workers are “engaged” in their jobs. 50.8% of employees were “not engaged,” while another 17.2% were “actively disengaged.”

“Not engaged” means employees that are less vigilant, show up and kill time, and doing the minimum required to get the job done. According to the poll, a full 68% of American workers are just going through the motions at their job.

That figure that should give employers pause.

Also, not-engaged or actively disengaged workers always have one foot out the door. Why show loyalty to your company when your employer is ready to kick you out as soon as it has a bad quarter or can find a robot to replace you?

Loyalty—or lack of it—goes both ways. Today, many employers skimp on benefits and wage increases by hiring part-time or temp workers. Hiring full-time employees is their last resort… once they’ve exhausted alternatives like automation, outsourcing, and independent contractors.

This persistent background angst has a macroeconomic impact, reducing productivity, increasing depression, and creating addictive behaviors.

But look around, and you’ll see glimmers of hope.

Coding Is the Next Blue-Collar Jobs Boom

Coal Miner to CoderI wrote a few weeks ago why we shouldn’t call people “low-skilled” workers. It’s demeaning and often just wrong. But, the category exists.,

It’s true that non-college graduate Americans face tougher job prospects. And despite increases in minimum wage in some places, since 2000, the average hourly wage for high school graduates has declined.

Also, factories are automating rapidly, and there are only so many service jobs to go around. They don’t pay like the factories once did, anyway.

But there may be a solution, at least for some.

Last week, I saw an intriguing Wired article titled, “The Next Big Blue-Collar Job Is Coding.” It, which  argues that computer programming is the modern equivalent of those well-paying automotive factory jobs.

Many people think everyone working in tech is a wealthy Silicon Valley type, but most “coders” work in ordinary, non-tech organizations. In fact, any organization business with 50–100 employees probably has at least two or three IT people who work on customizing software to the company’s needs.

Those folks generally make a good living, and there’s lots of room for programmers and graphic designers without college degrees.

All those little teams add up to a lot of jobs—and it turns out, some former blue-collar workers excel at them. Wired mentions a Kentucky program that retrains coal miners as programmers. Miners know how to focus, work as a team, and handle complex machinery. Program Director Rusty Justice says,  “Coal miners are really technology workers who get dirty.”

I’m sure these jobs will get automated too as artificial intelligence improves, but for now, they look like good opportunities for those with the right aptitude.

Hands-On Jobs Are Safest—for Now

There are still other growing occupations that don’t require college degrees. The US Labor Department tracks these in 10-year forecasts. I checked out iIts  Occupation Finder  web tool is pretty enlightening, and .oOne thing stood out: to me: Aa high school diploma, while still necessary, is insufficient for almost anything beyond manual labor. And even the number of those jobs is shrinking.

I searched for jobs at the next step up, requiring only “postsecondary nondegree” education. That means a high school diploma plus trade school or on-the-job training. Those with the highest number of projected new jobs in the next 10 years are:

  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
  • Dental assistants
  • Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists
  • Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses
  • Nursing assistants
  • Emergency medical technicians and paramedics
  • Medical assistants

I’m dubious doubtful about the truck driver jobs, given how quickly autonomous vehicle technology is advancing. But the others all make sense. They are mostly healthcare related and—this is key—require hands-on contact with customers.

You can’t get your teeth cleaned over the Internet. It will be a few years before we trust robots to cut our hair. Jobs like those will be among the last to get automated.

Here’s How to Stay Ahead of the Machines

Still, if we look ahead more than 10 years, I think all bets are off. Every job will be vulnerable—including mine. A sufficiently advanced AI could probably process all the information I read every day and compile it into informative articles.

Such technology doesn’t exist now… but I bet it will by 2030.

My response: Never stop learning!

If we want to outrun the machines, we all need to constantly upgrade our skills. We also have to build our investments into another reliable income stream.

That’s what you can read more I about how to do this in my free weekly publication, Connecting the Dots. I also try to keep the journey enjoyable, because I know we all need it.

Subscribe to Connecting the Dots—and Get a Glimpse of the Future

We live in an era of rapid change… and only those who see and understand the shifting market, economic, and political trends can make wise investment decisions. Macroeconomic forecaster Patrick Watson spots the trends and spells what they mean every week in the free e-letter, Connecting the Dots. Subscribe now for his seasoned insight into the surprising forces driving global markets.

John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2022 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in