Van werkloosheid naar ondernemerschap

CHICAGO – Het is welbekend dat de werkgelegenheid in de fabricage van goederen in de Verenigde Staten significant is afgenomen door de groei van de productie in opkomende landen als Mexico en China. Maar slechts enkelen herkennen hetzelfde soort dalingen in andere sectoren, ondanks de verreikende economische, sociale en politieke implicaties van deze trends.

Sinds 1972 is het aantal telefoonoperators met 82% gedaald, het aantal typisten met 80%, secretaresses met 60% en boekhouders met 50%. Bovendien verminderde het aantal kantoor- en administratieve banen tijdens de recessie na 2008 met 8%, de productie- en handwerkbanen met 17% en de plekken voor machine-operators, constructeurs en arbeiders met 15%. De werkgelegenheid in alle andere beroepen bleef hetzelfde of groeide.

De beroepen in de fabricage en administratieve ondersteuning voorzagen eerst miljoenen mensen van werk. Maar technologische vooruitgang heeft veel van deze middenklasse banen geautomatiseerd of naar het buitenland doen verplaatsen (een proces dat verwacht wordt nog te versnellen met de groeiende automatisering van op kennis gebaseerde activiteiten en vooruitgang in robots).

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