Report: Loss of Good Manufacturing Jobs a ‘Very Real Phenomenon’


A new study out of Georgetown University says that the job market for Americans who lack a college degree is better than it’s been in decades. CBS News reports that the study identifies 30 million good jobs in the U.S. for less-educated workers – with a good job defined as one with a median annual wage of $55,000. This, the report says, is up from 27 million of these jobs in 1991.

The lead author of the report explained that it’s been a common narrative that good-paying jobs were increasingly being allocated to those with college degrees – which is still true – but that when they examined just how much was out there for others with less education, they found many more jobs than they expected.

But there are a few caveats here. The report’s authors say the good jobs are changing and that they often still require skills beyond a high school education, meaning at least some type of technical or vocational training. Secondly, and more specific to manufacturing, these jobs didn’t tend to represent much in the industrial sector. Health care, finance, and education offered the most in terms of prospects, whereas manufacturing losses of good jobs are “a very real phenomenon,” the report found.

Meanwhile, Google has announced an initiative where it’s pledging $50 million over the next two years to prepare workers for a “21st century job market.” The pledge is looking primarily to fund training to address prevalent skill mismatches, helping to connect job seekers with jobs, and also to provide resources to service workers. Maybe un- or underemployed manufacturing workers can find some assistance there, as Google intends to address job gaps relating to the rapid rise of technology – in areas such as automation, robotics and artificial intelligence – that’s pushed some folks out of the workforce.

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