The American workplace is experiencing the biggest changes since the industrial revolution. What are these changes, why are they happening and how are people responding to them?
Job Type Shifts-we have become less and less a nation that manufactures goods and increasingly a country that provides information and services.
Technology -in some ways it's has made our lives easier, but it has also created pressure to speed production and has resulted in eliminating jobs.
Global Economy-while some jobs have been created, many have been eliminated.
Productivity -Americans are more productive, yet they are working more which creates pressures on the family and our personal lives.
Job insecurity-a feeling that we are less secure in our jobs permeates the American workforce. This feeling is fueled by downsizing, jobs being shipped offshore and the increase in temporary assignments.
Corporate responsibility-what responsibilities do employers and employees have to one another, the success of the company, and the larger society?
Job Projected Growth
Personal and home care aids 119%
Systems analysts 92%
Computer engineers 90%
Physical therapy aides 83%
Electronic pagination systems workers 83%
Physical therapists 80%
Residential counselors 76%
Human-services workers 75%
Occupational therapists 72%
Medical assistants 59%
Medical records technicians 56%
Special education teachers 53%
Amusement and recreation attendants 52%
Correction officers 51%
Median Weekly Earnings of Select Growing Jobs
Personal and home health care aides, $258
Systems analysts, $845
Computer engineers, $845
Physical therapy aides, $296
America's #1 Employer
The temporary agency Manpower, Inc., which rents out 767,000 temp workers each year.
The health care industry is currently the fastest growing job sector in the United States. One third of the 30 fastest growing occupations are in health care. While the total number of jobs in the US is expected to increase 14 percent between now and 2005, the demand for two occupations-personal and home health care aides, and home health aides-will double as the population gets older and as more elderly people decide to live at home. Visiting home care, which includes cleaning, cooking, and caring for people, pays about $7 an hour.
Education is growing, with jobs for preschool and kindergarten teachers expected to grow 30 percent; high school and elementary school teachers a close second, at 30 percent; and college professors, 18 percent. Special education is expected to hold the greatest increase, 50 percent by 2005.
There's some growth expected for scientists, including: chemists, 19 percent; geologists, 17 percent; meteorologists, 7 percent; and forest and conservation scientists, 18 percent. But if you're thinking about becoming a physicist or astronomer, forecasters predict a shrinking number of jobs in both fields.
America's waistline may be in for some growth, too, along with the professions of pastry chef and baker, expected to increase by 30 percent.
And if pastry is out of the question, there's always environmental clean up, which E magazine predicts business and government will spend $2 trillion on over the next decade.
Stockbrokers and financial-sales and service workers will pick up by about 35 percent. And in a related area-dealing with money-bill collector position will climb by about the same amount.
As for career paths to steer clear of, ranch hands aren't doing too well, as automation eliminates more jobs there. Printing is down about 20 percent, along with farm work, and bank teller jobs are expected to decrease about 25 percent (those ubiquitous ATMs).
(Sources: American Demographics, March, 1996; Bureau of Labor Statistics; The Record, Bergen 2/12/96; The Hispanic Times, 9/30/96; Business Wire, 11/6/96; Business Journal-Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun, 4/19/96)
It used to be called "laid off," but "downsizing" has clearly won the battle of the euphemism popularly used to describe what adds up to plain and simple job loss. What else do you need to know about downsizing?
[Source: The New York Times Downsizing Series, US Department of Labor]
Livelyhood's first one-hour special, "Shift Change," aired on PBS in fall 1997. For information on how to order the show, call 510-268-WORK.