Today I was interviewed on Bloomberg TV “Fast Forward” about the future of employment, in light of the very good October jobs report in the U.S., which showed a gain of 159,000 private sector jobs. It takes about 100,000 new jobs each month to stay even with growth in the working age population and to balance job losses, and the U.S. has been averaging such monthly gains all of 2010. But this just keeps things at a steady-state, and thus unemployment remains at the very high level of 9.6%, a number not seen since 1982-1983. Going forward, if job growth can continue at 150,000 and up, per month, unemployment will begin to come down. There are signs that this may happen, but there were also optimistic signs in the spring of 2010 that fell flat in the summer. So we shall see.
In the interview, however, I was asked where future jobs will come from in the next decade, something I had just considered in another interview for a reporter from the UK. So, this is my sense, today, of where big job growth could come from in the next decade.
- Health care and related fields dealing with aging populations in much of the world. (Health care continued to lead job gains this month.)
- Energy engineers and related services as world makes a 50 year transition from fossil fuels to the next energy era which will comprise many sources of energy.
- Info tech and communication engineers and content & service providers as almost every person in the world acquires a smart phone. In fact, 3G service became available on the summit of Mt. Everest recently. Endless opportunity globally.
- City re-imagineers, as people continue to flock to cities but cities need reinventing for sustainability. This means retrofitting transportation, water & sewer, not to mention dwelling units. Construction will return.
- Change managers – consultants, teachers, counselors, helping people and institutions change.
What do you think? Where will future work come from?