Perfect Labor Storm Hits Philadelphia

A column in Monday’s (April 9) Philadelphia Inquirer discussed how "large economic forces led to a devastating restructuring of Philadelphia’s manufacturing base, which eliminated a typical pathway to a middle-class job for high school graduates. A worker could get a manufacturing job and then learn skills on the job, climbing an income ladder in the process."

"As those manufacturing jobs disappeared – from 230,000 in the early 1970s to about 30,000 today – so did the pathway. What replaced some of the factory job losses was a vibrant health-care industry, which needs skilled professionals with formal educations and degrees."

This was released as part of a new report, "A Tale of Two Cities."  The question I have is why is any surprised.  How many times were government and business leaders warned over the past 10 years about changing demographics, education deficiencies, aging population, global competition and weakening infrastructure?  How long will it take until more cities, towns and rural areas as well as industry leaders wake up to find themselves taking cover from the Perfect Labor Storm.

Read the full Inquirer story here.


Ira S Wolfe