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Skills Development in Post-Recession Years

While closing the gap is important for getting more citizens across America employed, is it a worthwhile investment, though, when our economy has been hit hard and jobs more scarce? It turns out that economic strains are making the need for skilled workers even greater.

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The Jobs Market in the Next Decade

I am catching up on my reading and did this little analysis of US Bureau of Labor Statistics for jobs growth 2008-2018:

Seven of 10 jobs projected to have largest growth in next decade likely will not pay a living wage.  Five of those jobs require only "short-term on-the-job training."  One requires only "moderate on-the-the job training."  One requires a "post-secondary vocational award."

Low wage jobs among the ten fastest growing occupations over the next decade include home health aide, customer service representative, personal and home care aides, retail salesperson, general office clerks, nursing aides/orderlies/attendants.  Good paying jobs are registered nurses, accountants/auditors, postsecondary teachers.

In fact, a projected additional 4,197,000 jobs in next decade will require only short-term on-the-job training.  Another 1,963,000 jobs will require only moderate-term on-the-job training.

However, a projected 4,797,000 additional jobs will require a Bachelor's degree or more. 

Only an additional 1,168,000 jobs will require an Associate's degree, and another 1,164,000 jobs will need a postsecondary vocational award (which would likely also be earned at a community college), for a total of 2,332,000.

That's according to projections, of course.  The public…

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Not Surprised by Surprising Increase in City Dwellers

With young adults 30 percent more likely to live within 3 miles of central business districts today (up from 10 percent in 1980 and 12 percent in 1990), access to jobs, educational opportunities, people and ideas, and the fact that new research points to real estate in more walkable neighborhoods holding its value better than in less walkable neighborhoods, (not to mention the inherent advantages of city living: variety, convenience, discovery and opportunity) we were not the least bit surprised to hear that the latest population data point to something we've known for almost a decade: cities are growing. 

That was the lead story in this morning's USA Today and then reported on public radio's Marketplace Morning Report.

Nevertheless, this is welcome news for climate, health, innovation and idea velocity.

Read the full story in USA Today here, and listen to the Marketplace piece by clicking here. You can also read a blog post by Marketplace's Scott Jagow on the story here.

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Steep Job Losses Expected in Cities

A new forecast commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Mayors predicts heavy job losses in the nation's major cities and the metro areas they anchor.  (That's not surprising since that's where most of our citizens and most of our jobs are.) 

New York is expected to lose 181,000 jobs in 2009; Los Angeles, 164,000; Miami, 85,000; and Chicagoland, 80,000.

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Stimulus Proposal Released

The House Appropriations Committee has released information on the proposed economic stimulus package that has the following as its focus:

  • Clean, Efficient, American Energy
  • Transforming our Economy with Science and Technology
  • Modernizing Roads, Bridges, Transit and Waterways
  • Education for the 21st Century
  • Tax Cuts to Make Work Pay and Create Jobs
  • Lowering Healthcare Costs
  • Helping Workers Hurt by the Economy
  • Saving Public Sector Jobs and Protect Vital Services

As suspected, the pool of money for infrastructure is smaller than first anticipated, and much of that is being spent on construction of NEW highways.  Transit, however, is being funded at $10 billion (compared to $30 billion for highways).  Read the full summary here.

And if you really want to drill down on the details, click the links below:

Bill Report (76 pages)
Bill Text (258 pages)

 

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Gee, Why Didn’t We Think of That?

PORTLAND CITY COUNCIL ANNOUNCES $503 MILLION-PLUS "PORTLAND JOB
CREATION AND ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE" TO FAST-TRACK AN ESTIMATED
4,985 PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS

Plan also boosts housing development, business assistance and worker
retraining programs

January 13, 2009

PORTLAND, ORE. — Portland City Council at City Hall today announced a
crucial local jobs creation and business stimulus package aimed at
revving Portland’s economic engine in the midst of a gripping national
recession.

The public infrastructure projects will invest $503 million into the
city’s economy and fast-track the creation of an estimated 4,985 jobs.


The “Portland Job Creation and Business Stimulus Package” calls for
speeding up selected city government construction projects, boosting
housing investments and expanding loan assistance to local small
businesses and retraining opportunities to job seekers.

The bulk of the jobs created with this proposal result from
fast-tracking, over the next 12 months, city public works and
construction projects originally slated for construction over one to
three years.  The City plans to use existing capital budget resources
and to speed up its public works and construction projects, and will
not further increase fees or taxes or incur more-than-anticipated debt
to pay for the projects announced…

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Mayor Bloomberg’s Response to Crisis

One mayor didn't wait for the federal government to act before announcing a major set of initiatives to help citizens weather the challenges brought on by the economic downturn in the global, national and local economies. New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's  initiatives are designed to create jobs, support the City’s workforce, small businesses and homeowners, and provide targeted relief to the City’s most vulnerable populations.

The 18 initiatives are:

JOB CREATION

  • Implement Largest Capital Infrastructure Plan in New York City History: Although ongoing pressure on the budget required the City to stretch the capital plan from four years to five, the total capital spending will be greater than at any time in the City’s history. This year alone, the City will spend $10.4 billion, creating roughly 25,000 jobs.
  • Create Green Jobs through Building Upgrades and Incentives: The City will work with the City Council to promote green buildings and with Con Ed and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to persuade the Public Service Commission to further expand its energy retrofit incentive program. Combined, the programs will create thousands of jobs.
  • Expedite Local Brownfield Development Program: The Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation will work…

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Which Jobs Are Growing the Fastest

These statistics continue to haunt me...

The U.S. Department of Labor projects that seven of the ten fastest-growing jobs from 2000-2010 do not pay a living wage. Of course, DOL doesn't put it that way. They use dollar signs to indicate the "earnings quartile" the job falls in. However, even two dollar signs in DOL's world mean only $18,500-$25,760.

Here's the list of low pay jobs:

Combined food prep and serving - 673,000 new jobs
Customer service reps - 631,000
Retail salespersons - 510,000
Cashiers, except gaming - 474,000
Office clerks, general - 430,000
Security guards - 391,000
Waiters and waitresses - 364,000

Keep in mind that if these jobs are held by independent adults, these adults will require income supports.

The three good paying job classifications are these:

Registered nurses - 561,000
Computer suport specialists - 490,000
Computer software engineers, applications - 380,000

Why is there so little discussion of how to add value to low-pay jobs so that they command higher pay?

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Good Jobs - The Be-All, End-All

Catching up on this week's reading, I found Bob Herbert's NYT column headlined "Good Jobs Are Where the Money Is." And he had very tough words for the Administration (and, by association, the House) on the economic stimulus plan.

"Economic alarm bells have been ringing in the U.S. for some time. There was no sense of urgency as long as those in the lower ranks were sinking in the mortgage muck and the middle class was raiding the piggy bank otherwise known as home equity.

"But not that the privileged few are threatened... it's suddenly time to take action.

"There is no question that some kind of stimulus package geared to the needs of ordinary Americans is in order. But that won't begin to solve the fundamental problem.

"Good jobs at good wages -- lots of them, growing like spring flowers in an endlessly fertile field -- is the absolutely essential basis for a thriving American economy and a broad-based rise in standards of living.

"Forget all the CNBC chatter about Fed policy and bargain stocks. For ordinary Americas, jobs are the be-all and end-all. And an America awash in new jobs will require a political environment that respects and rewards work and…

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