Globalization and American Workforce in the Twentieth Century
15 October 2011 Globalization and American Workforce in the Twentieth Century Globalization is nothing new, since ancient times; people have been selling and buying their goods to each other. America was found by Europeans, when they were looking for new routes to expand their commerce and trade. In the last decade thanks to advances in communication and technology the commerce around the world has increased to a level never seen before.
This globalization however has brought some changes and challenges to the American workforce: jobs have been lost or outsourced, People are not sure what kind of skills will be necessary to have a successful career and what kind of jobs that will have great demand in the coming years. Globalization has brought great changes in the way of doing business, and its main idea is to increase trade between different regions, and is described as a process in which regional economies, societies and cultures come to integrate through communication, transport and trade.
Within the new way of doing business globally, there have been changes that have affected the workforce in some countries. In an article published in The Economist the author made a description about how “companies have been moving to other countries, from manufacturing plants from Japan to China, from the U. S. call centers to India” (189).
The companies are practicing the outsourcing and offshoring; for example before some auto parts were making by the car manufacturer, now the car manufacturer is buying the same part with an intermediate in other state or country. When companies contract another company to do the cleaning or cafeteria service, replacing their own people for better and sometimes more efficient service, the outsourcing results in job losses.
Offshoring is very similar, the main difference is the companies are purchasing their goods or services in other countries where the labor is cheaper, (lowered their costs). An example of offshoring is when one company that manufactures automobiles located at Detroit, Michigan are buying parts such as windshield wipers and brake parts in Mexico or China, or when the same company contracts with another company in other country to do the payroll; this means a saving for the company in the
United States because it minimizes its costs by reducing the number of employees on their payroll but the workers in America pay the consequences by losing their jobs The combination of technological advances and globalization has brought changes in how the jobs are losing or moving between developed countries and the developing countries.
The author Ursula Huws in Fixed and Footloose: Work and Identity in the Twentieth Century it makes mention of the observed changes with the movement of people through the different regions of the planet “On One hand, work which has previously been geographically tied to a particular place has become footloose to a historically unprecedented extent; on the other there have been vast migrations of people crossing the planet in search of both jobs and personal safety” (158).
For example, in United States ?? has seen an increase in migration by people coming from other countries or people who move from one state to another state, looking for a better job, better living conditions and security. With the migration of people to the cities, they have brought new customs, new foods and even new forms of behavior.
Some of the advantages it brings this whole movement of people is that they create new services, new restaurants and even changes in the health system and education; but in the other hand the arrivals of these people have displaced the local workforce in the manufacturing area, and the competition for the low skill job that pay minimum wage is high.
Another challenge for the American workforce is the outsourcing where jobs in the manufacturing sector have been lost; jobs like electronic assembly, clothing and auto parts, had move to free trade zones in developing countries where the companies have tax incentives, with few or no regulations, and labor is cheap, most workers are women or minors who are underpaid. In 1997 the Hudson Institute made an investigation at that counted with the collaboration of economists, educators and psychologists in which they made a roadmap follow for the American Workforce could adjust to the changes that globalization would bring in the next twenty years.
Richard W. Judy and Carol D’Amico article written by them in Work and Workers in the Twenty-First Century “You have before you a map, one that describes the journey America’s labor force is now beginning. It lays out the general contours of the employment landscape, not the fine details on the specific landmarks, depicting the many roads to what we call Workforce 2020″(177). In this investigation the people from Hudson Institute they break their findings in four different areas.
First, with the technological changes, advances in biotechnology, and telecommunications will bring a new opportunities. Automation will continue displacing low skilled workers, but jobs requiring special skills and knowledge will be in demand. Second the economies in the world will be fully integrated with the capital moving and investor looking for opportunities everywhere. The jobs in manufacturing sector will decline in the next twenty years, the most affected will be the people who fall behind in their skills level, and the people who maintain or improve their skill will be highly rewarded.
Also the unions will be seriously affected, their membership will decline and their influence in the US economy too. Third, in 2020 about twenty percent of the American population will be over 65 years old, baby boomers will be retired and the life expectancy extend over 80 years old; another type of demand will result, these people will need health care services, nursing homes, travel leisure, home repairs and other kind of professional services, with the demand of those services will open new jobs for low skilled people, replacing some of the jobs lost in the manufacturing industry.
Four, the labor market will continue with the ethnic diversification, where the percentage of the Americans and African American workers will remain constant and Asian and Hispanics will continue growing. They concluded that people will better prepare to adapt to the demands of the new millennium, and possibly they will be positioned better in the labor market, and people with little education or technological expertise will experience a decline in wages or unemployment.
In the next few years the competition between countries, companies and individuals will be fierce, but people with knowledge and skills will be safe. Globalization has brought many changes in the economy and many jobs are lost, people are not sure which way to go when choosing a career. People with qualifications in math, science, English and trades, will be able to succeed and also they will enjoy incomes that their parents never imagined. There are some jobs in the service area that we can call safe, people who work in close contact with the persons fell into this category; we can name ome of those like surgeons, plumbers or barbers. The U. S. government has made some predictions which have been published by the (Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 193), in which lists some specific areas where the government expects to see job losses. For example the mining sector with strict environmental regulations are not expected to see an expansion, the agricultural sector with advances in automation and technology expects a contraction, and the area of ?? manufacturing with the jobs exported to other countries.
However the government has some prediction that which jobs will be in high demand in the future, the government include in their list jobs in the utilities areas, specifically in the water, sewage and other systems industry. Wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing are expecting to see an increase in the workforce in the next years; jobs in information, finance and insurance, real estate and leasing, technical services, management companies and enterprises are expecting to see big job increases.
Probably professional jobs have better opportunities to succeed in the future, those jobs are in the educational services, healthcare and social assistance, food services and software development. The author of “Your Job Will Be Exported” Alan S Blinder makes some recommendations for U. S. young people to prepare themselves and know how to choose a career that will have high demand in the future, “recommends three courses of action and he advises young people to plan for high-end personal services occupation that is not offshorable” (187).
First is to make a plan to get a job in the personal service are that is not exportable, second he urged the educators to prepare the workforce whit trade skills, redesigning the courses and training and third the government need to adopt policies for the people in order to increase their skills, level of education, knowledge and also increasing the wages for low wage workers. The American workforce has been affected by globalization because many jobs have been lost with all the changes in production and automation, but the same changes in technology that destroy some also create a new ones.
One hundred year ago the world had a dramatic change with the industrialization that brought new technology and people predict the American workforce won’t be able to adapt. America workforce needs to adapt again; get away from jobs that require little education and move to jobs in areas that require more skills and specific education. Work Cited Behrens, Laurence and Rosen, Leonard J. Research and Composition in the Disciplines. New York, Longman, 2011. Print. Blinder, Alan S. Will your Job be Exported.
Research and Composition in the Disciplines. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. New York, Longman, 2011. Print. Pgs 187 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tomorrow’s Job: 2006-2016. Research and Composition in the Disciplines. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. New York, Longman, 2011. Print. Pg. 193 Friedman, Thomas L. The Untouchables. Research and Composition in the Disciplines. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. New York, Longman, 2011. Print. Pgs 182-185. Huws, Ursula. Fixed and Footloose: Work and Identity in the Twenty Century.
Research and Composition in the Disciplines. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. New York, Longman, 2011. Print. Pgs 158-163 Judy, Richard W, D’Amico Carol. Work and Workers in the Twenty-First Century. Research and Composition in the Disciplines. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. New York, Longman, 2011. Print. Pgs 177-181. The Economist, Into the Unknown. Research and Composition in the Disciplines. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. New York, Longman, 2011. Print. Pgs 188-191