Career Pathways in a Changing Labor Market
Recently, labor economists, workforce development policy analysts, and workforce development practitioners gathered at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to examine the effects of automation and shifting labor demands on the future of work. Presenters included Dan Restuccia of Burning Glass Technologies, Sara Lamback of Jobs for the Future, Daniel Kreisman of Georgia State University, Chad Shearer of the Brookings Institution, Susan Lund of McKinsey Global Institute, and Nancey Green Leigh and Ben Kraft of Georgia Institute of Technology. The researchers collected data from job postings, ...
Promising Workforce Development Approaches
On November 9, 2018, at the New York Fed, three expert panels discussed promising approaches to investing in workforce development as part of the launch of the three-volume book Investing in America’s Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers. Read highlights from the discussions below.
Opportunity Occupations in the Southeast
Opportunity occupations—or opportunity employment—are jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree and pay above a regionally adjusted median wage. This article takes a look at trends in the Southeast. For a deeper look at trends in opportunity occupations, see also "Opportunity Occupations Revisited: Exploring Employment for Sub-Baccalaureate Workers Across Metro Areas and Over Time."
Automation and the Future of Work
There are numerous reports that highlight potential effects that new technology will have on the U.S. labor market, and many of them are not exactly what you would expect. For example, with the advent of the internet and ubiquity of spreadsheets in the 1980s, analyst employment soared. The new technology unlocked latent demand for more analysis that had been simply too expensive before the new communication and productivity technologies became common. The need for more analysis led to more analysts…even though there were new technologies that made the work more efficient or productive.
Can Lessons from the Great Recession Guide Policy Responses to the Pandemic-Driven Economic Crisis?
In a 1948 speech to the British House of Commons, Winston Churchill warned, "Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it." As the U.S. economy struggles to reopen safely and recover, what are the lessons from the Great Recession that might help guide how policymakers respond to the pandemic-driven economic crisis?1 What should we expect over the coming months and years as the nation struggles to restore its economy, which before the pandemic had finally achieved historically low unemployment levels? In June 2020, there is much that we do not know or would even attempt to ...
The Workforce Development Field or a Conduit for Maintaining Systemic Racism?
Not many people can say they deliberately chose the field of workforce development as a career path. Yet many amazing and formidable people have contributed to the growth and development of this field, despite its original focus: supporting white, dislocated workers.
Policies to Close the Southern Skills Gap
Southern states have a number of economic and demographic characteristics that make them unique from the rest of the country—and increase the need to build skills to advance economic development in the region.
Opportunity Occupations: Well-Paying Jobs for Middle-Skill Workers
Did you know that only 29.7 percent of Americans over the age of 25 have attained a four-year college degree? Given many policymakers' focus on increasing the share of individuals who attain a degree, that may sound like a surprisingly low number. It leaves a large group of American workers who do not have a four-year degree and lack the means or desire to obtain one in the current labor market. In fact, "middle-skill" Americans, defined as those who have obtained their high school diploma but not a four-year college degree, comprise some 57 percent of the country's total population of those ...
Challenges in Today's Unemployment Insurance System
After a year of crippling economic impacts due to the coronavirus pandemic, at least 16 million workers remain unemployed. The national unemployment rate for February 2021 was 6.2 percent; in February 2020, it stood at 3.5 percent.* Many unemployed workers have struggled to make ends meet over the past year. Since March 2020, the unemployment insurance system was changed to help workers make ends meet during the pandemic. These measures created challenges for state unemployment insurance administrators and have often fallen short of the program's goals.
Opportunity Occupations and the Future of Work
From 19th-century workers smashing textile factory machines to John Maynard Keynes's musing on technological unemployment, worries and passions about machines replacing workers are hundreds of years old. More recently, robots and computers (through artificial intelligence) are replacing a growing number of human skills, and this has become an important topic of conversation in public policy. It is also increasingly on the minds of workers and students making decisions about their investments in skills and career preparation.