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GRDadof3

Employment Trends in the 21st Century

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The Press is reporting today that the Labor Department's report for October shows that the Grand Rapids - Wyoming Metro area's unemployment dropped to 4.7% in October, down from 5.4% in September and from 5.9% in October of last year. I can't find a link to the article, but here are some charts:

http://www.michlmi.org/LMI/econsit/econsit.htm

http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutp...l=%2522EaG%2522

Looks like the lowest October rate since 2001 :)

It looks like although some sectors are shedding many jobs, the local market keeps picking these people up, and then some. Annndddd, we are now lower than the national average for October, which was 5.0% :yahoo:

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The Right Place tends to "slick" their numbers a bit since they are selling the area, but you're right HolidayInnExpress, you have to look at other factors. Especially since October is usually a lower unemployment month due to seasonal hiring, which is why I found it encouraging that the rate was much lower than October 2004. I was looking for median income trends from 2000 - 2004, but it looks like your link was the best one. It rose from $45,251 to $48,800. It puts us at #39 in the country and near the top for housing affordability (from earlier this year).

http://www.nbnnews.com/NBN/issues/2005-05-...+Finance/2.html

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The Right Place tends to "slick" their numbers a bit since they are selling the area, but you're right HolidayInnExpress, you have to look at other factors. Especially since October is usually a lower unemployment month due to seasonal hiring, which is why I found it encouraging that the rate was much lower than October 2004. I was looking for median income trends from 2000 - 2004, but it looks like your link was the best one. It rose from $45,251 to $48,800. It puts us at #39 in the country and near the top for housing affordability (from earlier this year).

http://www.nbnnews.com/NBN/issues/2005-05-...+Finance/2.html

Do you know if those median income figures are adjusted are "real" constant dollars adjusted for inflation? If so....those numbers are indeed "good". As long as median income is growing above the rate of inflation...then that is good....however...can we trust the CPI any longer?

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My point, in all of this, is that the educated class in America is doing well, if not better, in regards to income and opportunities for the time being. On the other hand, the uneducated and marginally educated class in America, as well as Grand Rapids, is faced with diminishing returns due to a declining manufacturing sector in terms of number of jobs or a reduction in pay of those jobs.

Think about it, never before in America has a formal education been more of a requirement for entry and stay into the middle class than current trends. The problem is that this trend is rising much faster than the country can revamp its antiquated educational structure and methodology to produce a supply of educated people who can keep pace with the technological changes that require an educated workforce.

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Contrary to what you may have heard (or been fed by the media) manufactuing is hardly in decline in America. Production is up, expansion in up, workers have been increasin, and sales have been increasing. Yes, the media would like you to believe that everything is outsourced but that is simply not true.

What manufacturing remains in GR for the most part is not going anywhere. It is the ideal type of manufacturing, skilled. Yes, unskilled positions are being farmed out but there is still great demand for skilled and technical manufacturing positions and businesses.

I would say that GR is smart to move towards more modern business models but we need not forget manufacturing or fear it. This area is known around the world in most business circles as being one of the best manufacturing regions in the world. A recent competitveness survey among world wide businesses pegged the GR metro at number three.

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A note to ad to superNOVAs is that my father was just offered a job interview in the manufacturing field. I hear Steelcase workers that were skilled in welding or assembly (as my father) are in demand at other companies producing similiar products.

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Contrary to what you may have heard (or been fed by the media) manufactuing is hardly in decline in America. Production is up, expansion in up, workers have been increasin, and sales have been increasing. Yes, the media would like you to believe that everything is outsourced but that is simply not true.

What manufacturing remains in GR for the most part is not going anywhere. It is the ideal type of manufacturing, skilled. Yes, unskilled positions are being farmed out but there is still great demand for skilled and technical manufacturing positions and businesses.

I would say that GR is smart to move towards more modern business models but we need not forget manufacturing or fear it. This area is known around the world in most business circles as being one of the best manufacturing regions in the world. A recent competitveness survey among world wide businesses pegged the GR metro at number three.

I think that we need to be more accurate in what we are talking about. I am not a person driven by

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My point, in all of this, is that the educated class in America is doing well, if not better, in regards to income and opportunities for the time being.

Sorry if this is insensitive - but that is the way it should be. I did not work full time, attend college, and get two degrees for nothing. My job requires me to continue learning (I have taken more classes since college than while in college), keep up with market demands, and be flexible to expand into different job sectors. It is simply expected of me.

Should I not get paid more than someone who lands a 'button pusher' job after high school and expects to sit there making $40/hr the rest of their lives? Granted, the work needs to be done but Unions have created ultra high wage expectations which in turn have generated localized inflation. Even worse, this local inflation is a vicious circle, as it grows so must wages.

Delphi for example is being lambasted for reducing their wages to what is still above the national average. Non-skilled workers starting at $9/hr is still good in many areas of the nation. Skilled workers without an education making $19/hr starting is still really good almost everywhere. Yet, the workers complain because of these increased expectations that they should be making the same wage an accountant or computer engineer is. BS if you ask me. You are only worth what you can produce and if you cannot produce at a profit, you are worth nothing to a company.

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^People get greedy the moment they realize the can make 20 an hour pushing sheet metal through a press... Take it from me I watched it happen.

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Non-skilled workers starting at $9/hr is still good in many areas of the nation.

Without getting caught up in the political discussion associated with it, have you ever tried to live or raise a family on $9/hr? With the price of everything skyrocketing, that is not even a possibility.

And is a person that has aquired their skills from work experience any less valuable than a person that has gone to school to learn those same skills? Obviously, a combination of both would be ideal. But not everyone has the ways or means to attend college, especially if they have a family to raise.

Just adding to the discussion. :whistling:

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Sorry if this is insensitive - but that is the way it should be. I did not work full time, attend college, and get two degrees for nothing. My job requires me to continue learning (I have taken more classes since college than while in college), keep up with market demands, and be flexible to expand into different job sectors. It is simply expected of me.

Should I not get paid more than someone who lands a 'button pusher' job after high school and expects to sit there making $40/hr the rest of their lives? Granted, the work needs to be done but Unions have created ultra high wage expectations which in turn have generated localized inflation. Even worse, this local inflation is a vicious circle, as it grows so must wages.

Delphi for example is being lambasted for reducing their wages to what is still above the national average. Non-skilled workers starting at $9/hr is still good in many areas of the nation. Skilled workers without an education making $19/hr starting is still really good almost everywhere. Yet, the workers complain because of these increased expectations that they should be making the same wage an accountant or computer engineer is. BS if you ask me. You are only worth what you can produce and if you cannot produce at a profit, you are worth nothing to a company.

I think you kind of missed my point. Our economic construct is interdependency between workers and consumers who fuel GDP growth. Regardless of why you rationalize what should or should not be, the fact is that it (their high pay) WAS a reality. Consequently, if their incomes are cut in half and if the middle income opportunities for non college educated peoples continue to decline in this society, it will be followed by a general decline in consumption and reverberate into lower living standards for not only those workers, but workers like you as well, who likely produce a good or service that is consumed by people who now have fewer dollars to chase and purchase goods with, which will drive down the price point.

You seem to feel

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I think you kind of missed my point. Our economic construct is interdependency between workers and consumers who fuel GDP growth. Regardless of why you rationalize what should or should not be, the fact is that it (their high pay) WAS a reality. Consequently, if their incomes are cut in half and if the middle income opportunities for non college educated peoples continue to decline in this society, it will be followed by a general decline in consumption and reverberate into lower living standards for not only those workers, but workers like you as well, who likely produce a good or service that is consumed by people who now have fewer dollars to chase and purchase goods with, which will drive down the price point.

You seem to feel

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In our economy, people like superNOVA have become (or are becoming) the middle class. I do think this is happening a little too fast. Unskilled people need to acquire skills and this takes time, but the current pace of globalization isnt giving them enough of it. Also our economy needs to expand at a pace to provide jobs to these newly skilled people and again globalization is expanding faster than the economy.

People who have educated themselves like, SuperNova, has always been part of the middle class. That is nothing new. That which is new is the diminishing paths to middleclass for those who are not college educated like SuperNova. The ethic and manifestation of

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Currently, only about a quarter of jobs demanded in the economy require a college degree and future job projections show the fastest numerical increases in jobs in the next ten years will preserve that ratio.

If that ratio doesn't change, then what are you worried about? There will be plenty of jobs for unskilled people.

I'm not sure where you are getting your facts though.... Everything I've read implies that is the opposite of what is happening.

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First of all I disagree with your 25% ratio argument; I don't know what the ratio is now or what it is projected to become, but I believe it will expand to a larger percentage than it is now in the future.

The second part of the paragraph is very similar to another argument we had earlier. If you are right about your analysis then unskilled workers can either be supported by the government and high taxes for rich people, or unions who control wages by inflating the price of goods and services. What is the difference?

Disagreement is healthy, although disagreeing, in and of itself, has no barring on validity or invalidity. Besides, I don

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I'm not disagreeing with the number, because I have no idea what it is. I dont agree that the ratio doesn't change over time.

Also, I'm not the one who is telling everyone how things work. I'm just posting my opinion.

IF you are right, when is this going to start hurting our economy?

Well, the ratio may indeed change over time, but not for the reason you might think. Right now, many jobs that require a college degree or 4 year college degree, such as mine, really is more of a FILTER, than the actual utilization of knowledge and skills gained in college. There are many people who could do my job simply from being self taught or properly trained by the company. Thus, the filter requirement of a college degree can be expanded arbitrarily. Indeed, a higher pay for a college degree is more of a societal reward for those who matriculate and graduate than it is process that prepares workers for what is demanded by specific corporations and industries...but I digress.

You ask the question of when will exporting inflation start to hurt our economy? The answer is hard to tell. That will depend on how long the dollar stays buoyant relative to other currencies. Theoretically, what

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Well, the ratio may indeed change over time, but not for the reason you might think. Right now, many jobs that require a college degree or 4 year college degree, such as mine, really is more of a FILTER, than the actual utilization of knowledge and skills gained in college. There are many people who could do my job simply from being self taught or properly trained by the company. Thus, the filter requirement of a college degree can be expanded arbitrarily. Indeed, a higher pay for a college degree is more of a societal reward for those who matriculate and graduate than it is process that prepares workers for what is demanded by specific corporations and industries...but I digress.

Alright, I tracked down some FACTS supporting my argument.

From 'The Rise of the Creative Class'

In 1996, Steven Barley estimated that professional, technical and managerial occupations increased from 10% of the work force in 1900 to 30% by 1991, while both blue collar work and agricultural work fell precipitously.

This doesn

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Alright, I tracked down some FACTS supporting my argument.

From 'The Rise of the Creative Class'

In 1996, Steven Barley estimated that professional, technical and managerial occupations increased from 10% of the work force in 1900 to 30% by 1991, while both blue collar work and agricultural work fell precipitously.

This doesn

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I am confused about exactly what are you attempting to prove or disprove. My point is and was simple, but I obviously did not do a good job of communicating it. My point was and is that a college degree will become more of a necessity to enter the middle class than it is today or ever has been. If the ratio of the jobs in the economy that requires a college degree, to those that do not, remains roughly the same, then most workers will not be able to enter the middle class in the future.

My point was also simple and miss went miss understood/explained. The middle class isn't shrinking. Unskilled manufacturing jobs (that once represented a path to middle class) are.

Even, hypothetically, if all workers today had a college degree, separation would have to manifest somehow between jobs that paid low wages, middle wages and high wages. How would that separation manifest if everyone is educated? Likely the separation would manifest in regards to degree level (associates, bachelor, masters, and doctorate) or GPA

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My point was also simple and miss went miss understood/explained. The middle class isn't shrinking. Unskilled manufacturing jobs (that once represented a path to middle class) are.

The speration would come from individual ability.

Where is the confusion? I posted facts about job growth in terms of percentage of total employment.

Enough with this. I'll believe you if you can show me some facts.

GaryP, here is what you asked for. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.t05.htm Notice that 7 of the 10 fastest numerically growing occupations do not require a college degree and are relatively low paying. Any or most jobs that are not unionized and do not require a post secondary education will have a lower wage structure do the forces and law of supply and demand. As long as there is an excess of supply of unskilled labor, relative to demand for it, there is no upward wage pressure to bid up the price point (wage equilibrium).

When you first asked your question...I had to ponder for a moment to reflect how I can best exemplify my thinking. I could not come up with anything because much of what I believe is not

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