Gone forever are the days of semi-skilled, well-paying, blue-collar factory jobs that can provide a 19-year-old dropout or high school graduate with a living wage. Today, counting on a low-skill manufacturing or service job to keep you in the middle class is as sensible as buying a BETA tape for a Blue Ray DVD player
According to U.S. Department of Labor data, 62% of all U.S. jobs in 2010 will require higher skill levels. While 97 million people will be needed, only 43 million Americans will have the educational qualifications for these jobs. Businesses will try to make up the difference by using the failing talent safety valves discussed earlier. On the other hand, 38% of all U.S. jobs in 2010 will still be low-pay/low-skill and require 61 million workers. About 115 million Americans will be competing for these jobs.
The impact of this talent meltdown will probably be greatest on small and mid-sized companies, with larger corporations merging or leaving the United States. Large companies will poach the talent they need from smaller businesses.
Finding professionals and managers has not become much easier during the recession, and it promises to get even harder as the economy heats up.