Skilled Workers Are Vital For Economic Recovery

Sep 2, 2020

Now’s the time, even during a period of tragic unemployment and closed businesses, to focus on rethinking the state’s workforce development strategies to achieve a rapid economic recovery.

Economists, business leaders and labor experts have warned for years that a coming wave of automation and digital technology would upend the work force, destroying and de-skilling some jobs while altering how and where work is done for nearly everyone. But as the coronavirus pandemic has caused a near catastrophic economic calamity, New Jersey’s challenges are more acute than ever.

Prior to the pandemic, about two in 10 jobs in the state required a college degree. About 25% of college graduates earned no more than the average high school graduate. Part of the reason, of course, is oversupply of college graduates for an economy that has not made the transition to information-intensive jobs. While technology increased the demand for educated workers, the demand has been consistently outpaced by the number of new college graduates entering the job market. Indeed, much of investments in office technology have not favored college graduates at all. Basic enterprise software has mostly standardized work, creating more routinized, less creative work than ever. The state’s brain drain has been well documented.

Check out the full article from NJSpotlight here.