Editor's Comments: This is a very thought provoking article. I focus on the tech skills gap but this article describes a coming job crisis that is much broader. The impact on the middle class could be profound as entire industries are digitally transformed. In the future the ability to pivot and continually learn will be key to employment. Do you agree that this could be a crisis or is it just hype? Let me know what you think.
The incoming Trump administration has made job creation a national priority. But here is a sobering prediction: No matter which political party holds the White House or Congress, over the next 25 years, 47% of jobs will likely be eliminated by technology and globalization, according to WorkingNation. It’s a phenomenon called “structural unemployment” and it affects nearly all industries and even white-collar workers. Venture capitalist Art Bilger founded WorkingNation to sound the alarm about the coming crisis and to spark discussions about potential solutions.
Bilger believes the nature of employment is fundamentally changing and cannot be reversed. But workers, businesses and the government can prepare for it if they work together — starting with stepped up infrastructure spending that has bipartisan support. He recently joined the Knowledge@Wharton Show, which airs on Sirius XM channel 111, to discuss his prescription for ameliorating the coming jobs crisis, and what his organization and others have tried so far. (Listen to the podcast at the top of this page.)
An edited transcript of the conversation follows.
Knowledge@Wharton: Your organization did a report on the state of the job market prior to the election. What are some of the necessary things that the next president, his cabinet and the Congress need to address?
Art Bilger: You’ve got to start by understanding what the circumstances are out there, because in my three-year journey, it has been quite amazing to [see how little of the crisis is perceived by] even by the most sophisticated people. I have laid [the problem] out to major news executives, foundations, corporate executives — and people haven’t really understood the magnitude of this and how quickly things are changing. Read the entire Article or listen to the Podcast