Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jobs of the Future, Part 2


Hot Jobs For The Future
We have only seen the first wave of automation in our lives. The effect so far has been to eliminate jobs involving highly repetitive tasks. The net effect has been fewer "unskilled" jobs.


Jobs that were not easily mechanized, such as many manufacturing jobs, have already been moved to countries where the cost of labor is cheaper. Most of these jobs have been relocated to Mexico, Taiwan, India and China. Ten years from now, as the labor costs in those countries rise, the jobs may move to Africa or North Korea.


A large portion of programming, tech support, data entry, and accounting jobs can be handled remotely from countries such as India where they speak perfectly polite Queen's English, and where they have excellent educational systems. This puts many lucrative jobs at risk.


The good news is that the traditional skilled trades such as carpentry, plumbing, electrician, hair stylist, construction contractors, auto mechanics, dental hygienists look good in terms of being secure from moving offshore. The main threat will be lower cost labor coming across the Mexico / US border.


Retail store positions will decline gradually as home shopping and Internet shopping continue to grow. There will always be retail stores and retail positions, just fewer of them.

Didn't I just read (Part 1) about the sensational opportunities in retail sales?

The middleman in many business transactions will gradually disappear largely as a result of technology and competition. With increased competition, neither the manufacturer nor the customer will be willing to pay for the added cost of the middleman unless he adds substantial value.

Rats! This is the one job I hoped we could keep!

Expect energy prices to rise, especially in the United States. This will change the infrastructure and underlying economy in many ways.

Especially in the United States? What the heck is that supposed to mean? Are we no longer going to have a "strong dollar" policy?

Increased leisure time has been reported as a trend for a long, long time. We have just never seen it materialize.

Perhaps automation, Mexico, Taiwan, India, China, Africa, North Korea, the lack of middlemen, and rising energy prices will make that dream a reality.

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