Susan Lund of McKinsey Global Institute tweets the above chart that displays an ongoing economic trend called job polarization. (I have written about this here, here, and here among other places.) Or as Lund puts it: “Where are the middle class jobs? US job growth post-2008 is in skilled professions and low-skill, part-time jobs.” Thanks to both automation and globalization, jobs in the middle that can be “scripted, routinized, and automated” continue to disappear. What’s left, as MGI puts it, are those — both high and low skill — that involve “complex problem solving, experience, and context (e.g., lawyer, nurse).”
MGI has a great report on the subject, Help Wanted, that includes this bit of policy advice:
Enable growth in aggregate demand. Job creation depends on economic growth, so government measures to support aggregate demand (i.e., fiscal and monetary policies) and raise consumer and business confidence remain important. Other policies, such as worker training programs, will be ineffective if employers are not hiring.
Make raising worker skills a national priority. This means programs to improve critical thinking and skills in K-12 education; much higher secondary school completion rates; workforce training; and winning the global war for talent.
Unlock business-creating investment and innovation. Government can stimulate private sector job creation by promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, catalyzing investment in infrastructure, and streamlining business regulations that unintentionally impede business expansion.