Technology is at it again… creating problems… then offering solutions.
Technology has formed a global economy that eradicated many Western jobs… just as the Western population ages the most.
For example an article in the Economist, “The Future of Europe Staring into the Abyss”:
Between 2005 and 2030 the working-age population of the European Union will shrink by 20m, and the number of those over 65 will increase by 40m. Thanks to the focus on crumbling public finances, that demographic time-bomb is now a common part of European public debate. Governments in places like Britain or the Netherlands have been able to propose paying pensions at 67 or even 70, without angry protests.
So many of my messages look at problems faced by Baby Boomers and those thinking about retirement ahead.
However how about the Western youth? Without their gainful employment to finance Social Security programs for the retired… there will be no money to pay for retirement.
An article in Business Week entitled “The Lost Generation” highlighted this problem when it said.
The continuing job crisis is hitting young people especially hard—damaging both their future and the economy
Bright, eager—and unwanted. While unemployment is ravaging just about every part of the global workforce, the most enduring harm is being done to young people who can’t grab onto the first rung of the career ladder.
Affected are a range of young people, from high school dropouts, to college grads, to newly minted lawyers and MBAs across the developed world from Britain to Japan. One indication: In the U.S., the unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds has climbed to more than 18%, from 13% a year ago.
For people just starting their careers, the damage may be deep and long-lasting, potentially creating a kind of “lost generation.” Studies suggest that an extended period of youthful joblessness can significantly depress lifetime income as people get stuck in jobs that are beneath their capabilities, or come to be seen by employers as damaged goods.
Equally important, employers are likely to suffer from the scarring of a generation. The freshness and vitality young people bring to the workplace is missing. Tomorrow’s would-be star employees are on the sidelines, deprived of experience and losing motivation. In Japan, which has been down this road since the early 1990s, workers who started their careers a decade or more ago and are now in their 30s account for 6 in 10 reported cases of depression, stress, and work-related mental disabilities, according to the Japan Productivity Center for Socio-Economic Development.
Whats should society do?
Our son, Jake, gave us a clue when he wrote:
Dad your article “Funky Micro Business Ideas Internet Support” reminded me to share this thought:
Perhaps many readers will have young people in their lives who like those in Britain face a very bleak employment future at home.
We now have a crisis in youth employment in this country but as my dad says “the sun is always shining somewhere in the world” and the Guardian last week did the following piece on the issue. Perhaps an interesting thought for many readers:
That article is ‘Graduates look overseas as jobs dry up’ and it says:
“With 70 applicants for every UK graduate job, could applying abroad be the answer? From Brussels to Beijing, meet the enterprising university leavers finding work overseas.
“For beleaguered graduate job hunters, the news just seems to get worse and worse. Figures released last week by the Higher Education Statistics Agency showed that about 10% of 2009 graduates failed to find work during the past year. As if that weren’t bad enough, the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) this week released the findings of its biannual survey, showing an average of around 70 applications for every graduate job, with employers expecting to see a further 6.9% drop in vacancies this year – a forecast nearly four times worse than the AGR’s own predictions just six months ago.
“The AGR’s chief executive, Carl Gilleard, points out that the depressing forecast reflects a fragmented graduate jobs market in which sectors such as finance are now showing high levels of growth, while others, including law and engineering, remain in the doldrums. “The important thing for graduates is to keep their ears to the ground,” he says. “A snapshot survey of our members reveals that 30% haven’t yet filled their vacancies.”
“Yet for those prepared to look farther afield, there may be a glimmer of hope from the increasing numbers of UK graduates who are successfully finding work overseas.
“Nannette Ripmeester, a Rotterdam-based international careers expert who has worked in 17 countries, says the jobs outlook is not as bleak everywhere. “Within the European Union, the UK and Spanish jobs markets have been worst-hit, but other countries such as the Netherlands, and also newer member states like Poland, have not suffered as much,” she says. “Outside Europe, think of Asia and places like China and Singapore, where jobs markets are considerably better.” Jake.
Life is change. Technology has accelerated change as it diminishes the concepts of time and space. Those… young and old… who adapt and participate in this global view can find opportunity in the global economy and the fact that the sun always shines somewhere.
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Read the lost generation