Thursday, June 12, 2014
The Implications Of Slow Growth In Cognitively Demanding Jobs
There has been a lot of concern about the loss of high paying jobs for unskilled workers in manufacturing. This article raises another concern. The demand for highly educated workers is also contracting. Many college graduates are forced to take jobs that are not cognitively demanding. Those jobs used to be filled by high school graduates. High school graduates are now in competition with college graduates for those jobs. Demand has been strong for graduates from elite colleges, but there is not enough demand for highly skilled workers to absorb the number of college graduates that we produce. Some of this contraction is attributed to the collapse of the dotcom bubble. It is not the result of the financial crisis. This creates a new dynamic in which college graduates become part of the underclass, and in which those in the underclass get pushed down to the tier below. It is not clear how this will play out in politics. Several scenarios are discussed but most of this is guess work.