After suffering through one of the toughest job markets in our lifetime over the last eight years, you might be wondering what to expect as we look into our crystal ball. If you eliminate the last 6 years, only once in the last fifty years has the unemployment rate exceeded 9%, which was in 1982, and only once, in 1975, it exceeded 8.5%. As we move forward, which we received no help from our political leaders, but rather the resilience of capitalism, one might ask, where is the job market headed and what can we expect in occupational employment trends? This publication has more detailed material by downloading from the website winning sales strategy.
In 1985, fresh out of college, I was employed as an accountant in the family building material business. We hired a management consultant to come into the business and help us to make some strategic and future directions. This person was a retired FBI agent and had headed up several companies as their CEO, a bright guy who had his finger on the pulse of business trends. During a lunch interview, he and I were talking about formulating a company strategy. Like any conversation, it gravitated to other topics and he told me that the next big emerging trend was mobile telephone communication, hands free talking devices, I thought to myself, are we ready for such innovation and could it really take off?
We all know how this industry exploded and very few people would have even imagined the explosive growth. Think about this, in 1985, if someone would have said, “In 20 years, every member of your family will own a mobile phone, even your children. Your kids will communicate with all their friends through text messaging, and your will be paying thousand of dollars for high tech communication devices and hundreds of dollars per month in service charges”. You would have thought this statement was completely outrageous, then to make this even more extreme, long distance phone service would be completely eliminated.
So what employment trends can we expect to emerge in the future?
A healthy and ageless population – Industries and occupations related to health care, personal care, health support (HPCS – health and personal care and health support) will be the Jobbörse in most demand through 2020. The baby boomers will move entirely into the 55 plus age group by 2020. The HPCS sector is expected to grow collectively by almost 35% (see table 1), driven primarily by the aging population and secondarily by the reduction in quality health care from Obama care. Older Americans will be much more health conscientious opting for health maintenance and prevention. In addition to the HPCS segment growing strongly, but also expect related industries such as vitamins, personal in home training, social assistance, in home care aids, pharmacy technicians, dental assistant, health care administrators, medical records technicians, and physical therapists. Register nurses have been in demand for many years and this will continue to be in strong demand.
Building the American Dream – According to many projections, the housing infrastructure in America has lagged behind population growth. The economic downturn and collapse of the housing market over the past several years has precluded many Americans from purchasing homes. The housing and construction industry has historically contributed almost 20% to the annual GDP. The Hispanics will have a large influence on the housing market due to the fact that this demographic is expected to increase from 14.8% of the labor force in 2010 to 18.6% in 2020. Employment in the construction industry, still at low levels since the beginning of the recession in 2007, will recover to record levels in the next 8 years. One caveat however, residential construction peaked in 2005 at slightly over 2 million single-family and multi-family units. This was an artificially statistic because many homeowners were given loans under the sub-prime lending initiative, and may of these homes went into default. A realistic and safe housing statistic is to maintain annual starts at a peak of 1.2 million units. Another point of conflict could be the collapse of the multi-family market over the next couple of years. As consumers move from the over-built multi family housing into more traditional single family homes, there will be a glut of apartment and rentals on the market driving down rental rates.
The shift from foreign to domestic goods – For the first time in a long time, nerdy is the new – new. We have had far too many students who earned math, science and applied engineering degrees over the last decade. As the economy moves away from a global economy to a domestically sourced movement, the demands for electrical, structural, mechanical, and petroleum engineers will increase. American has the largest reserves of crude oil in the world, the Obama administration has negatively impacted our domestic production of oil, this will change dramatically as he moves out of the White house. You will see a big movement to change sourcing from import to domestic goods and services. Students earning math and science degrees will make a more dramatic impact on the economic output while encouraging American companies to source their goods and services on shore.
Wal-Mart has announced a shift in policy to purchase more domestic goods, as much as $50 billion over the next 10 years. Other companies like GE and Apple have announced similar plans to source more goods produced on American soil. Mom-Popolies, small family owned business entities, have devoted their entire business strategy around American made goods and services. As students enter college and understand how destructive it is for American companies to support foreign goods, they will be more encouraged and have a greater influence on their employers to competitively source American products. One of the most decisive factors favoring American companies is the fact that China has become increasingly less competitive in the global market due to its rising labor costs, couple this with rising transportation costs and you have a recipe for the resurgence of American products.
The Emergence of the New Financial Sector – The millenials and other swill be looking for ways to maintain their lifestyles after retirement since the social security system will be non-existent for this group. Smaller regional banking institutions will replace the massive national players since consumers will be looking for a more home-town approach to banking. Additionally, the big banks have nickel and dimed their fee structures to the point of being ridiculous and people are simply tired of paying these banks for these services when the smaller more nimble banks have far lees service fee structures.
Accountants and financial planners will be in great demand as future generations seek sound financial planning advice and the resurgence of the entrepreneurial spirit in America takes charge. Futures will be looking for employment opportunities with smaller companies or they will be exploring options to venture out on their own.
The Future – The tables below illustrate the sectors where employment will be the most robust and what to expect over the next 7 to 8 years
Personal Care and Service
Healthcare Practitioners / technicians
Community and Social Service
Construction and Extraction
Computer and Mathematical
Business and Financial
Life, Physical, and Social Sciences
Transportation and Material
Installation, Maintenance and repair
Arts, Design, Entertainment, sports and leisure
Sales and Related
Architecture and Engineering
Office and Administrative
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Political Implications – The finger pointing in Washington is getting out of control. We should not care what Bush did, and we should care less what Obama has inherited. The fact of the matter is that the overall collapse of the economy and eventual recession was caused long before these two guys had any influence. First of all, the demise of our economy started when we the fed took their eye off the ball and allowed so many sub-prime loans on home mortgages, second, we should have never waged such an expensive war in the Middle East and third, big government is not the answer.
The problem with our economy was started by Clinton, overlooked by Bush and ignored by Obama who tried to shape America in many ways but failed to address the core of the problem. Americans, in all shapes and form, need to embrace a political candidate who maintains capitalism as their primary economic platform. Give a man a fish, you feed him for one day, teach a man to fish, you feed him for life. What has Obama done? Nothing. His legacy will be class warfare, a failed national health care platform and creating bigger government to drown the economy. You will see future candidates elected who can run on a platform of maintaining the American standard we have all known throughout history.
Macro Job Market – During this decade, 2010 – 2020, we can expect to create about 54.5 million jobs. Occupations that require postsecondary levels of education are expected to be fastest growing sector. Despite that almost all Americans will be facing higher taxes in the coming years, thanks to Obama; the economy should expand at a 2.5% to 3% pace. This country needs to add 2.0 million new jobs each year to maintain a realistic and constant reduction in unemployment and energetic industrial sector. The proof lies with industry and the private sector job creation. Many companies have sat on the sideline over the last 5 years hoarding corporate profits because of the uncertainty in their future tax liability. Now that there is a clearly defined outlook, at some point the private and public sector needs to begin hiring again in an effort to expand their business.