We all like to know what awaits us at the end of a story. For most of us, that applies especially to economic cycles, like the current recession. We not only ask questions from a personal view (When will I land a new job?), we wonder about the broader ramifications (What will the workforce look like when the economy turns around?).
An article from CBS MoneyWatch.com offered four pictures of what the job market might look like after the recession ends. They intrigued me and I thought they might intrigue you. For instance:
1. Women will make up a majority of the workforce.
The article cites these U.S. labor statistics: a 10% unemployment rate for men, but only 7.6% for women. The numbers suggest that the recession has struck particularly hard at male-dominated industries, such as construction.
2. It will continue to be a Baby Boomer's world.
The oldest of the three dominant demographic generations in the workforce is moving into retirement age. But it may be hard to get the Boomers to retire given how hard their retirement portfolios were whacked in the past year. Some are even coming out of retirement to seal the cracks in their nest eggs and refill them.
3. The federal stimulus will spawn growth in "green" jobs.
The $787 million package passed earlier this year will add 3 million to 4 million jobs, which may spur longer-term growth in green jobs that will attract both blue- and white-collar workers.
4. Flexibility can help workers maintain full-time schedules, but not necessarily at one job.
Some previously full-time workers have seen their hours cut. The number of part-time workers has grown by more than two-thirds over the last 20 years, lowering the national average hourly workweek to 33.2 hours. The solution for those who need to work more hours? Be open to doing freelance work, either in your chosen career or something different. That means you must network, and write several versions of your resume that emphasize different skill sets. Transferable skills will mean as much to career success as your previous levels of responsibility and the companies you worked for.
What do you think of these four views? What changes do you think you need to make to prepare yourself for the future? Please share your opinions with us.
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