OK, so the unemployment rate rose to 7.6% in the US in January and 7.2% in Canada. So in Big Media terms it’s all doom and gloom and the end of the world is nigh…or not. This Yahoo! article from AP sent me over the top with the use of over the top adjectives to describe the unemployment rates.
The recession as I see it is because a) the economy was far too overvalued in many sectors, b) the ridiculous sub-prime mortgage fiasco and c) the beginning shift from an industrial-based manufacturing economy to a knowledge-economy.
If you look at where the majority of jobs were lost in both countries it was the manufacturing sectors. But healthcare and education saw gains in employment. Knowledge-based sectors are either in a steady-as-she-goes hiring rate or increasing their hiring. Silicon Valley is still hiring
but can’t find people.
The shift we’re seeing is that more and more goods are being manufactured in countries with lower labour rates. The social contract between unions and companies in developed nations is far too costly to justify the prices consumers are willing to pay. It’s an economic basic.
We’re seeing a shift as we need more healthcare workers and education will increasingly need people to teach knowledge-based skills such as software development, sciences, healthcare jobs, information management and on and on…
The biggest question U.S. and Canadian governments should be asking is; how do we retrain all these people? The next greatest exports for America and Canada will be knowledge, bringing better processes and practices to developing nations.
The rise of the Social Web and more people connected will show some incredible new opportunities in the coming years.