Most New Jobs Don’t Require College Education

Most New Jobs Don’t Require College Education

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network.
I’m Paul Jay in Baltimore. A new study has found that two-thirds of American
jobs being created and that are likely to be created only require a high school education
or less. So the idea that people are going to educate themselves out of unemployment
and poverty doesn’t seem to have a heck of a perspective. Now joining us to talk about this research
is Jeannette Wicks-Lim. She’s an assistant research professor at PERI institute at the
University of Massachusetts Amherst. She also writes for the New Labor Forum, where she
has a new piece called “The Working Poor: A Booming Demographic.” Thanks for joining
us again, Jeannette. JEANNETTE WICKS-LIM: Thanks for having me. JAY: So talk about what you found, first of
all in terms of the nature of jobs that are available, and then what significance that
has. WICKS-LIM: Right. Well, and just to repeat
what you said and just to underscore this point, because it seems like a lot of the
news stories these days–well, this has been an old news story–is that low-wage workers,
what they really need is a college education, and that’s what they will–you know, that
will be the key to getting them into a better-paying job and get them out of a status of working
poverty. And when you look at what’s actually out there
in the U.S. economy and the types of jobs that are offered, what you find is, by the
Department of Labor’s own reports, about 70 percent of the jobs that are currently available,
and also the jobs that can be expected to be created between now and 2020, about 70
percent of them only require a high school degree or less to have entry-level positions.
So a lot of these jobs do not require this college education that seems to be pushed
over and over again in order to increase the welfare of low-wage workers. And what you also find, what I also found
when I was looking at these figures, is that you do see that the workforce has become more
and more educated over the last three decades. I mean, if you look at figures from 1979 to
2011, you see that in the workforce, about–we started at about 40 percent of the workforce
having some level of college experience, and that’s now risen to over 60 percent. At the
same time, over the same number of years, you’ve seen that workers earning a very low
wage rate of $10 an hour or less, 25 percent of the workforce earn that low wage level.
So, you know, we have the same constant share of very lowly paid jobs, about a quarter of
the workforce. Now, what does that mean? So you have more
and more workers being educated, but you still have a very significant share of workers earning
very low wages. What it means is that you have better and better educated low-wage workers.
So if you look at these $10 an hour or less workers, you see that between–you know, over
the last three decades, there was 25 percent of these workers who had some college experience,
and now you’ve got 40 percent of these workers with some college experience. So they are
indeed better-educated. So maybe, you know, they’re following this idea that getting more
education will improve their economic status. But in fact what we find is that the economic
status does not improve. JAY: So why this change? We’re supposedly
going into the technology economy and the information technology and so on and so on,
which all supposedly implies better-educated people will do better. WICKS-LIM: Well, I think [incompr.] just a
misrepresentation of what’s happening in the U.S. workforce. And what you often will hear,
if you listen carefully, in news reports about what’s happening with the workforce, what
you often will hear people say is the fastest-growing jobs are in these high-tech fields that require
a high level of educational credentials and that, you know, pay good wages. Well, these
jobs take up a very small share of the workforce, so they may indeed be growing very fast. They
represent a very small number of workers in the overall economy. Instead what’s the sort of mainstay in terms
of work in the U.S. economy are these jobs that only require a high school degree or
less. They’re usually tied to the service economy. So if you look–again, this is something
that’s reported by the Department of Labor–one of the things that they report, they report
amongst the top 30 occupations with the largest job growth between–what they are projecting
between 2010 and 2020, that amongst those top 30 jobs, many of them are very low wage
jobs, very low wage occupations. And what I did, actually, in this recent piece
that I did is I compared the occupations in this list of the top 30 occupations with the
largest job growth over the next ten years to the most common jobs held by the working
poor. And, in fact, the majority of the occupations in both these lists are the same. In other
words, the jobs that are adding the most number of jobs, the ones that are expected to add
the most number of jobs over the next ten years, are the same kinds of jobs that the
working poor hold. So that’s really a more accurate description of what are the most
common, most prevalent–the jobs that are going to be adding the most new positions
over the next ten years are these kinds of jobs. And you can imagine what these jobs
are–you know, consist of. They are jobs like janitors, security guards, childcare workers,
home health care aides, those types of positions. And those are positions that people, you know,
are pretty well aware are pretty common in the U.S. economy, and they just, in fact,
make up a large proportion of the workforce. JAY: And, of course, the other thing that’s
happening is that even jobs that traditionally paid significantly more, like in the auto
industry, where it used to be a starting worker would make $24 to $26 an hour to begin, the
new contracts now have starting workers at $14, or even less in some–in auto parts manufacturing,
and these kind of two-tier contracts are happening all over the country. So even those working
class jobs that in theory did pay more are disappearing. WICKS-LIM: Yeah, that’s true. I think what
we’ve been seeing in the recent decades is a large growth in jobs that pay very low wages,
and then some growth in jobs that pay very high wages, and those sort of middle-income
jobs that pay decent wages, the ones that you were just talking about, the, you know,
auto manufacturing jobs, their pay is either decreasing, or their jobs are going overseas. JAY: And of course that has pretty broad implications
for the whole economy as well, because, I mean, we’ve been saying on The Real News–and
I can–it’s probably rather obvious to people that if demand doesn’t increase, if more people
can’t buy more stuff, then the economy continues to stagnate. But that means higher wages,
and in fact things are moving in the opposite direction. WICKS-LIM: Right. That’s right. And other
interesting thing to point out is that a lot of these low-wage jobs that are, you know,
this large share of the workforce, these are jobs that are not going to be, you know, pushed
offshore. You can’t, you know, replace them easily with machines. So, you know, jobs like
a childcare worker or a home health aide, these are jobs that need to be done by people
within the U.S. border. So these jobs actually have the potential to be, you know, improved,
because it’s not easy to say, well, you know, a firm isn’t going to just ship them off to
another country, and it’s not–those are not positions that are easily, you know, done
away with by replacing them with machines. So these are jobs that have potential to become
better-quality jobs. But you do need–what I argue in the piece
is you need a stronger labor movement. JAY: Thanks for joining us, Jeannette. WICKS-LIM: Thanks. JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real
News Network. And don’t forget we’re in the midst of our year-end fundraising campaign.
Every dollar you give gets doubled by a matching grant until we reach $100,000. So somewhere
around this video player you’ll find a Donate button. If you don’t click on it, we can’t
do this. Thanks for joining us on The Real News Network.

68 thoughts on “Most New Jobs Don’t Require College Education

  1. Crappy low paying jobs are plentiful, but the old higher paying jobs got shipped overseas. Yes, the whole College b.s is an entire racket bubble.

  2. Firstly, raising the minimum wage isn't socialism. Secondly, socialism doesn't produce lazy people, rather that's exclusive to capitalism and its pathetic band-aid programs. Socialism permanently abolishes lazy people and free goodies by making work mandatory for all citizens. Socialism is a cult of eternal toiling for the collective future. Everyone earns their keep in a socialist society, whereas a capitalist society only requires for one to throw around assets earned from whatever.

  3. its been this way for years the only school extra anyone should go for is a tech school for like welding truck drivers etc

  4. The work ethic must be maintained if we are to avoid becoming a socialist welfare state. Even if it means taking a job that you may be overqualified for now, while continually seeking out a better opportunity. We must not get used to the government handout or we are doomed.

  5. She says at the end of the video that many of the jobs that are being created are low paying jobs but they have the potential in the future to pay more money if a stronger labor movement was formed. So that is a positive sign. A couple of those industries would be the service industry and the retail industry. The very hard part though will be to actually form the labor unions, especially in right-to-work states. The organized labor movement doesn't have a lot of momentum right now in the U.S.

  6. Also for high end jobs, doctor, lawyer……..I agree with you, I am in school for welding, most fun I ever had in school!

  7. You can always hire half the poor to kill the the other half…..that;s a quote from someone, I think Stalin or Lennin, although I am too lazy to look it up, so I could very well be wrong.

  8. I disagree. Many of these jobs can be automated by machines in the short term and let's not even try to imagine the next 20 or so years. If these corporate fat cats want to reduce wages, what's stopping them from replacing humans for long term growth? Just looking down the list:

    Food preparation, customer service, cashiers, receptionists, waiters, stock clerks, receptionists, assembly workers, etc.

    Essentially the entire retail service sector is doomed to be mechanized.

  9. This may actually become a good thing. More people 'suffering' financially will mean more political and general activism. America is a country that needs to challenge it's government on SO many things, and this may be the push that they need.

  10. a 2 year degree/ certificate program will do just fine for most…..this will keep your cost down big time…..couple this with a good work history and your looking good…ty

  11. great I put both my boys threw trangletech for welding they got certifide in steel and pipe I already knew just no degree, good luck believe me you will always have a job some where Good Luck

  12. Hehe, you sound like Lenin, I like that ^_^

    When it came to the Czars repression, 'worse is better', he said, because it got him closer to the revolution he sought.

    Well, whether its a good thing or a bad thing, its not like we can do anything about the system now. We are not a democracy, and we never were…

  13. Gonna be a decade or two before we start replacing waiters with robots wont it?

    Though there actually are robot receptionists being developed LOL. So youre right about most of those, though its going to take a few decades for most of them. In the long run, youre right.

  14. true it's more than just activism, but a revolution is needed.
    FIGHT CLUB had the right idea. I can imagine some point in the future that kind of anarchist rebellion will be common. I welcome that over the passivity of people now. I am ALL for peace, but if we are being realistic anarchy will always achieve more than passivity. Target the corporations, the banks etc. Bring down civilization and force ourselves to rethink our way of life.

    never target humans, otherwise branded as TERRORIST!

  15. In France where I live from the USA (I have 2 degrees in the sciences, self-financed through low-paying work, no debt) it has long been recognized that many are not "college material," so they are given the "3 Rs," made to master them, & apprenticed & trained useful skills. This is possible from about age 13. I continue to be dismayed by fellow Americans who cannot even write correctly in English, who only speak 1 language, who can't do basic math. It's not good. Uprated.

  16. just because someone chooses to look for hope in something bad does NOT make them "like" a genocidal dictator you ignorant arrogant fuck

  17. Raising the minimum wage to 20$/h would kill all small start-up businesses. Prices at walmart are low because not only do they use sweat shop workers to manufacture their goods, they all had the start up capital to ship a shit load worth of goods, a shit load of space space to store these goods, and a shit load of man power to receive these goods. A small business does not have the money, man power, the warehouses, or the connections to compete with a walmart.

  18. It is shocking that many sheeple are going $30k or more in debt for a college degree with no chance of ever using it and or are oblivious that their computer job will be sent to chindia at $2/hr.. Student loan delinquency rate just hit a new high.

  19. that sort of blind legislation is waht's going to cause even more unemployment. how many employers who hire minimum wage workers are going to be able to afford to pay them that much you think? on the other hand, if the government continues to print money and spend like there's no tomorrow, inflation could hit so high that the minimum wage could get to 20 bucks an hour, but then the living costs would've soared too

  20. do you seriuosly think we have capitalism in this country? with the government determining the interest rates and controlling the money supply like a drunken sailor? u gotta be kidding me – and idiots like you get thumbs up ? no wonder the country is going down the drain.

  21. Yeah that will in no way cause Roombas to replace janitors and auto cooking devices to run fast food. That had to be one of the dumbest comments I have seen in a while.

  22. this is a good thing. It free people up to do other things. What is needed is imagination and drive for us to figure out what those other things are. If you think I'm wrong then get rid of your microwave, washer, dryer, dish washer and other mechanizations that make life easier.

  23. Really? Why not $30 an hour? Why not $40? How will you counteract rising inflation and unemployment that comes with mandating such a wage? Or do you just brush aside these negative side-effects and the fact that many of these well intended laws seldom achieve their intended effects and often always backfire?

  24. We already have SS benefits which is a variation of a pension. As far as redistribution of wealth is concerned, the record of history makes it absolutely crystal clear that in countries where you have had largely free market capitalism, the lives of the ORDINARY poor people have improved immensely. The population of India when it got its independence in 1947 was about 350 million. Today its 1.2 billion and we have mass poverty, mass starvation and mass corruption.

  25. This is the result of 50 years of relying on govt. central planning to redistribute wealth. When India did start to free its markets in 1992 because it was staring bankruptcy in the face, the effects were clear. Poverty was reduced and the income of the poorest of the poor and their quality of life went up. Central planned economies are more outdated than free market capitalism. In any case, your question doesn't even address how to counteract inflation and rising unemployment.

  26. Moreover, the minimum wage law is a law that requires employers to discriminate against lower skilled workers. In the 70's, unemployment, especially among black teens sky rocketed. This was the effect of minimum wage, often called the most anti-negro laws on the book. I don't know what you do for a living, but I urge you to read the effects of minimum wage. CATO Institute is a good source. Contrast it with a liberal think tank like EPI. Good luck.

  27. The problem is loss aversion. The same thing that hits Disney when they grab tons of public domain stories to make their movies, but then bar their stuff from ever becoming public domain.

    It hits you when you deal shop for Xmas holidays and the rest of the time, but can't fathom how other ppl may be willing to do your job at acceptable quality for cheaper.

    It's a funny psychological phenomenon that brings out the worst in people.

  28. "More educated" is a useless term. By their standard if you went to school to learn how to play marbles and 90% of the population completed 13 years of marble shooting school vs 70% 10 years ago. The populace would be "more educated".

    The purpose of education is to allow you to get a job a lot easier than you would w/o education.

    If thats the purpose, people are LESS educated now even if more are paying more and attending longer at marble school.

  29. "CATO Institute is a good source."
    CATO(strong tie with Koch brothers) is a bad information source if that's the only one you get the information from.
    Have you found other source that agrees with them?
    If minimum wage to be removed altogether, every workers will compete for ever lower wages becoming like Walmart employee, earning not enough so they have to depend on gov. hand out.
    What will happen when that happens?

  30. CATO is a libertarian think tank. They employ some of the most outstanding scholars. You might disagree with CATO's philosophy but it doesn't make it "bad". And yes, AEI is another libertarian think tank that agrees with CATO. NBER has both right wing and left wing economists that work for them. And no, CATO is not the only source I get my info from. I take great care to understand issues from a balanced point of view. With regard to min.wage, you neglect that lowering min. wage allows employers

  31. to lower their prices and start a price war with competing businesses. This means lower prices for everyone. So the conclusion that workers wont "earn enough" is not valid. Its all relative. Moreover, you might have a case for min. wage among economies of scale, like Walmart. But with small businesses the best thing to do is eliminate it. Ultimately it will be in the best interest of the employer to pay his employees a good wage or they will quit and work for another firm that offers higherwages

  32. Why? Because competition ALWAYS has the effect of producing better services at lower costs. Govt. helps large businesses lobby laws that effectively shield them from the threat of competition from smaller businesses. Big. govt. leads to chrony-ism. Small govt. is easier to manage. Its easier to repeal laws we don't need and put laws into effect we do need. Its easier to cut spending or grow spending. Economic freedom is the most effective way to keep a check on political concentration of power.

  33. "This means lower prices for everyone."
    You must be blind to what's happening in the society.
    If they have more money to spend, they'll be paying more bonus to CEO.
    Google, "American Pie: Wealth and Income Inequality in America"
    "In 1980 the average CEO made 50 time more money than the average worker while today the average CEO makes almost 300 time more than the average worker."

  34. "Because competition ALWAYS has the effect of producing better services at lower costs."
    How does it matter if nobody has the money to buy the products or service because of the low wages?

  35. Not necessarily more efficient than today but more efficient than $20 for low value work. Capitalism is not outdated but the thought of punishing the employer for no good reason is confusing at best.

  36. Your chalk-board economy is a fantasy. Workers are paid based on bargaining power. That's why CEOs are raping workers – they've stuffed boards with their cornies, and they now own the US Government.

  37. My chalk board economics is not fantasy. Its based on the experience of history. Workers, like every thing else, are paid on bargaining power. Everybody is seeking to buy things at the lowest cost. Mandating a min. wage only sets a new market equilibrium price and this will be the price every worker is fighting for. What amazes me is that people don't realize that many of these laws end up backfiring on the people its supposed to help. This has happened time and time again.

  38. I sadly must state that I entirely agree with you and know 1st hand, with 2 of bros that are/have been bait hooked by this b/s.

  39. You live in a fantasy world of perfect competition. Try reading this: "The Economics Anti-Textbook: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Microeconomics" Sraffa destroyed micro models in the 1920's. So your laws are not laws at all, particularly when they are refuted by empirical evidence.

  40. Duh ?? THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE VIDEO ! There are fewer and fewer GOOD jobs !…. GOT IT NOW ??? Jeezsus ! No wonder the USA is all effed up …..the American kids can't think their way out of a paper bag on their heads !

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