Watch, Discuss, Engage: Christina Romer on Jobs of the Future
Posted byon July 13, 2009 at 02:00 PM EST
The President’s Council of Economic Advisers released a report today on "Jobs of the Future (pdf)" outlining how the U.S. labor market is expected to grow over the next few years. The report includes information on likely shifts and changes in the labor market, skills and training that will likely be most relevant in growing occupations, the importance of worker flexibility, and how the construction and manufacturing sectors are expected to rebound as a result of the Recovery Act.
CEA Chair Christina Romer will participate in a live chat at 2:30 to discuss the report. She will be taking your questions about the future job market through our Facebook application and WhiteHouse.gov/live, so watch it live, share your questions, and participate in the conversation.
Here is a short snippet from the report:
Well-trained and highly-skilled workers will be best positioned to secure high-wage jobs, thereby fueling American prosperity. Occupations requiring higher educational attainment are projected to grow much faster than those with lower education requirements, with the fastest growth among occupations that require an associate’s degree or a post-secondary vocational award. Key attributes of a well-trained workforce as well as elements of an effective education and training system are detailed below.
Employers value workers who can think critically and solve problems. Many highly-paid occupations require workers with good analytic and interactive skills.
Occupations that employ large shares of workers with post-secondary education and training are growing faster than others. While expected growth in construction and some manufacturing industries would create job opportunities at all skill levels, workers will be better positioned for good jobs if they acquire additional training and education. Occupations that have grown recently require more formal post-secondary schooling than occupations that have declined.
The U.S. post-high school education and training system provides valuable skills to those who complete programs in high-growth fields. However, it could be more effective at encouraging completion and responding to the needs of the labor market
Elements of a more effective system include: a solid early childhood, elementary, and secondary system that ensures students have strong basic skills; institutions and programs that have goals that are aligned and curricula that are cumulative; close collaboration between training providers and employers to ensure that curricula are aligned with workforce needs; flexible scheduling, appropriate curricula, and financial aid designed to meet the needs of students; incentives for institutions and programs to continually improve and innovate; and accountability for results.
Worker flexibility is key given the dynamic nature of the U.S. labor market and ongoing technological change. In 2003, for example, a quarter of American workers were in jobs that were not even listed among the Census Bureau’s Occupation codes in 1967, and technological change has only accelerated since then. Environmental-related occupations – which are expected to experience tremendous growth over the next decade – did not exist in comparable data prior to 2000. As we build a new foundation for economic growth in the 21st century, the nation’s workers will be better prepared for ever-changing opportunities if they have strong analytical and interpersonal skills. High-quality education and training is the best way to prepare the workers of today for the jobs of tomorrow.
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