It is no secret that the jobs today are becoming radically more complex. There is talk to teach programming skills to students in elementary schools and more school districts have iPads for their students than those that don’t. What does this mean for the modern workforce? It means that the workforce is being trained for tasks now that used to require a master’s degree. America and her economy are changing and that change is a constant grey area. While it benefits many there are still those it leaves in the dust.
Amazon, eBay, and Walmart are already dominating the e-market, and more people are ordering their goods online than ever before. This may seem like the inevitable march of the future. However, it means that the future marches on without the brick and mortar malls and shopping centers of yesteryear. There is one city who has felt these effects more than any, and is dubbed by the Wall Street Journal as the “center of America’s retail meltdown”. Elmira, New York has seen a 20 percent reduction for the past two years in its normal city revenue from sales tax. This means that the municipal government has four-fifths of the funding it normally receives and has had to resort to laying off some police and firefighters.
Younger workers are looking for flexible jobs that reflect their fast-paced and nonregular lifestyle. Working hourly for companies like Uber and Lyft or being an Amazon delivery driver appeals to the labor force today more than ever. However whenever you are working for these types of companies the official status of your employment can get complicated. Because of the way our labor laws are designed, many companies are opting to hire workers as a contractor rather than a full-fledged employee. This has caused an unseeable but all-too-prevalent rift between today’s workers and the companies they work for. No longer do they work for a company they believe in but a technological giant they are just familiar with.
Interestingly the New York Times compares these times to the era of American history leading up to the sweeping New Deal pushed by FDR that brought our country out of the great depression. The reason is that in order to build a strong competitive economy working people need strong labor unions so that their voice can be heard all the way to the executive office of corporate giants. In fact, according to the labor and employment attorneys at Cary Kane LLP, when labor unions have legal help when going against large companies their voice is louder, and change is more likely to happen.
Times are weird. The internet is an economy in and of itself, and it can suck up the profits from older companies that either don’t jump on the bandwagon or can’t work it. For now, all we can do is support small business, use overly convenient digital services in moderation, and try to learn new marketable skills to appeal to a morphing world.