March 26, 2013

"The recession left millions of college-educated Americans working in coffee shops and retail stores."

"Now, new research suggests their job prospects may not improve much when the economy rebounds."
"Once the robots are in place you still need some people, but you need a lot less than when you were putting in the robots," said Paul Beaudry, an economist at the University of British Columbia....

70 comments:

MadisonMan said...

They can always apply for disability.

Shouting Thomas said...

Useless liberal arts degree = no job skills = $50,000 student loan debt and no job.

damikesc said...

Good plan, voting for Obama and all.

Idiots.

Hagar said...

Borrowing money to "go to college" and major in XYZ Studies is a great folly.

Jay said...

Which job or jobs are college educated people looking for that are replaced by "robots"?

When I hear people talk about "robots" or ATMs, taking away jobs I immediately think: They have no fucking clue about the American labor force.

betamax3000 said...

RE: "Once the robots are in place you still need some people, but you need a lot less than when you were putting in the robots."

Naked Robot sees no error in this statement.

Matthew Sablan said...

I was lucky, got a job right before things went to heck. But, I also see openings everywhere, so I know that with some luck, people can move up. It just requires a lot more luck than it did when I graduated.

Matthew Sablan said...

And, by the way, I majored in history and English, so, not exactly high-demand majors. The jobs aren't as plentiful as they used to be, and I'm lucky to have a strong portfolio, something someone with a recent master's degree may not have if they were full time students. One thing I've learned in the workforce: Actual results -always- trump theoretical results.

Nonapod said...

Articles behind a paywall, but I too would like to know more about our new robot overlords.

SteveR said...

They still voted for Obama in large numbers because he's giving them free birth control and favors (now) gay marriage. Its about that simple.

MadisonMan said...

It just requires a lot more luck than it did when I graduated.

You make your own luck. I tell my kids this.

Planning, and having a strong work ethic, working hard when you have a job. That's how you get lucky and find the next good job.

Matthew Sablan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew Sablan said...

True, in part, Madison. There is also honest to goodness luck; you have a lot more chances to get lucky the harder you work though.

Mitchell the Bat said...

In the early 1980's it was guys with doctorates in the Humanities driving taxi cabs in New York City.

And it was Time or Newsweek or U.S. News and World Report.

Something like that.

garage mahal said...

There are 5000 janitors in the U.S. who have have PhDs. Hell of a job, elites!

Peter said...

If your job can be done by an algorithm then it probably will be. and even if it can't, if it can be exported to some dollar-a-day third-world hell, then it's probably just a matter of time before it is.

Eventually third-world wages will rise toward first-world levels (or ours will sink to match theirs), and automation will again reach a stable plateau.

But until then there's going to be some painful disruption.

Presumably this is the driver behind much of the government-union angst we recently saw: those who bought protection from market forces (by political or other means) have no wish to be pushed into the unprotected, higher-risk world that the rest of us live in.

Matthew Sablan said...

"There are 5000 janitors in the U.S. who have have PhDs. Hell of a job, elites!"

-- The skills required to earn a PhD at some schools are not transferrable to work. And, some people are great in school, but terrible in office/field work. This is a kind of meaningless statistic.

betamax3000 said...

"For Daisy Unit was young and her artificial world was redolent of orchids and pleasant, cheerful algorithms and programmers which set the rhythm of the year, summing up the sadness and suggestiveness of life in new operating systems."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

There are 5000 janitors in the U.S. who have have PhDs. Hell of a job, elites!

People rise to the level of their incompetence.

There are also many times that number of janitors who didn't go into thousands of dollars of debt to be janitors. Who made the wiser life decisions?

It is too bad that these young adults fell, hook line and sinker, for the myth that a degree in anything at all was a E ticket in life to a guaranteed job. Like suckers and rubes at the county fair, they were taken in. And now they sit around and whine that life isn't fair and wonder what to do with all of those lemons. [how's that for a bunch of mixed metaphors lol]

However, as Madison Man said...you make your own success. Here is a prime example

Kit said...

You make your own luck. I tell my kids this.

We told our kid this, too. Also...Don't. Give. Up.

Dante said...

Bachelor’s degree graduation production in computer science was down 10 percent this year, compared to a nearly 20 percent decline last year. This is the smallest graduating computer science class in ten years.

Meanwhile, FB guy is pushing for more 20th century worker imports.

Of course, there is a silver lining:

Total enrollment by majors and pre-majors in computer science is up 6.2 percent per department over last year. If only majors are considered, the increase is 8.1 percent. This is the first time total enrollment increased in six years.

One has to wonder if people want to work in hard fields at all. And, the new grads have an issue that they don't seem to know how to program.

Marshal said...

It's not going to continue like this, although it should. The purpose of increasing the size of government is to finding employment for otherwise unemployable leftists. The women's studies majors (for example) are eventually going to be end of life "counelors", gender equity analysts, or administrators for government funded NGOs.

Larry J said...

Bachelor’s degree graduation production in computer science was down 10 percent this year, compared to a nearly 20 percent decline last year. This is the smallest graduating computer science class in ten years.

Meanwhile, FB guy is pushing for more 20th century worker imports.

Of course, there is a silver lining:

Total enrollment by majors and pre-majors in computer science is up 6.2 percent per department over last year. If only majors are considered, the increase is 8.1 percent. This is the first time total enrollment increased in six years.

One has to wonder if people want to work in hard fields at all. And, the new grads have an issue that they don't seem to know how to program.


Yourdon wrote a book in the 1990s titled "The Decline and Fall of the American Programmer". Many of the things he wrote about, most especially outsourcing, come true.

I tell young people interested in computer science to go into cyber security. Only an absolute moron would outsource their cyber security to another country. If they want to be programmers, there are still opportunities. If you can get a security clearance, programming on defense related projects won't be outsourced. However, defense is a declining industry for the foreseeable future.

TosaGuy said...

"You make your own luck. I tell my kids this."

Luck is the point where preparation and opportunity meet.

rhhardin said...

Businesses have to find ways to get more out of you than they pay, while paying more than it's worth to you to work there.

Capital will be involved.

Government works to make all such disagreements uneconomic.

David said...

Suggesting that they have degrees but may not be well educated.

Larry J said...



Shouting Thomas said...
Useless liberal arts degree = no job skills = $50,000 student loan debt and no job.


Unless you're able to work for yourself, you need to have skills that others are willing to pay for. Too many kids are going to college, going deep into debt and coming out (with or without a diploma) with no marketable skills. As Heinlein might've said, "This is known as 'bad luck.'"

Larry J said...

David said...
Suggesting that they have degrees but may not be well educated.


Back in the day, we used to say that a high school diploma qualified you to ask, "Do you want fries with that?"

Today, most liberal arts degrees qualify you for jobs that ask, "Would you like a muffin with your latte?"

edutcher said...

What, they finally figured this out?

Barry needs that permanent, stupid underclass if he's ever going to be able to change his name to Duvalier.

SGT Ted said...

A good portion of Higher Ed is merely High School: The Next Four Years.

They do this to harvest student loan and grant money.

They have become money sinks and they really don't care about cost, otherwise they'd fire all the adminstrative strap hangers that they didn't need 30-40 years ago and still don't need today, but the credential inflation has turned jobs that could be done by trained High School grads into requirements for 4 -8 years of degrees to "qualify" for the job.

They have become experts at this sort of exclusionary GateKeeping that tried to guarantee an endless flow of money into their institutions.

They make Solyndra look on the up and up.

Scott M said...

If you own a home refi now. If you're in the market, lock in a pre-approval for as long a term as the lender will give you. When/if the economy rebounds, the interest rates are going to be merciless.

rcommal said...

What Sgt. Ted just said,

Matthew Sablan said...

When the interest rates recover and spike again, I'll just have to accept that if I want to live in Virginia, I may be doomed to rent for life if I'm not willing to gamble with a mortgage.

Craig said...

Online variations on Amway is the wave of the future. Students should be paid to earn liberal arts degrees in the interest of preserving civilization and culture.

madAsHell said...

was a E ticket in life to a guaranteed job

Ya know, Disneyland stopped printing E-tickets about 30 years ago.

Henry said...

"Once the robots are in place you still need some people, but you need a lot less than when you were putting in the robots."

Once you have windows you still need some glaziers, but you need a lot less than when you were breaking the windows.

mark said...

Banks wrote off $3 billion of student loan debt in the first two months of 2013.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/25/us-usa-studentloans-delinquency-idUSBRE92O11K20130325

TosaGuy said...

Madman,

Great article on the disability issue.

At least those with worthless college degrees may have a tougher time getting on the disability train.

TosaGuy said...

Madman,

Great article on the disability issue.

At least those with worthless college degrees may have a tougher time getting on the disability train.

viator said...

If the nomenklatura would enable free enterprise instead of hobbling or preventing free enterprise then there would be many, many more jobs. A lot those would be well paying. Start by OKing the Keystone pipeline then encourage fracking, cut red tape, make rules and regulations cost effective and sensible. Rein in the use of environmental studies to delay projects five or ten years.

Reshoring is picking up steam, cheap hydrocarbons would create a renaissance.

Bruce Hayden said...

Good plan, voting for Obama and all.

I am another who sees the vote of the recent college grads so overwhelmingly for Obama as extremely counterproductive. We are in the 5th year of the Obama Recession, and much of that can be attributed to adding 5% of GDP to government spending. Despite everything that Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows about fiscal multipliers, history has repeatedly shown that you can't spend your way out of a recession with the sort of spending that we have been doing. Stimulus under Keynesian economics requires very temporary additional spending. Five years is not "very temporary".

So, all these kids voted again for Obama, presumably because he was cool and Romney was an old white guy, etc., and they are now getting what they voted for - under or un-employment.

So, no, I don't have much compassion for many of these whining recent colleg graduates.

Matthew Sablan said...

Targeted, timely, temporary -- we were told this is what the stimulus would be. It took months, to years, to get the funds out into a general coffer that still is being used to justify further spending. Even the experts who told us how to make it work must raelize we're not doing it the right way any more.

Larry J said...

viator said...
If the nomenklatura would enable free enterprise instead of hobbling or preventing free enterprise then there would be many, many more jobs. A lot those would be well paying. Start by OKing the Keystone pipeline then encourage fracking, cut red tape, make rules and regulations cost effective and sensible. Rein in the use of environmental studies to delay projects five or ten years.


All of your suggestions are valid but will never happen. You see, if we reduced the number of regulations then we wouldn't need so many regulators. The nomenklatura doesn't give a damn about anyone else's jobs but care very much about their own. As for reducing the delays caused by nearly endless "environmental impact studies", well, that would reduce the payoffs and kickbacks to the environmental lobby. That will not do.

Baron Zemo said...

Recently the local bar that was opened in 1874 closed down. The local Italian grocery that has been there for 65 years is closing at the end of April.

Welcome to Barack Obama's depression.

Matthew Sablan said...

If the recession officially becomes a depression, it will be hard to lay it at any single person's feet. Much like when shooting a shotgun, with blame, there's always enough to go around.

Balfegor said...

Re: Larry J:

I tell young people interested in computer science to go into cyber security. Only an absolute moron would outsource their cyber security to another country. If they want to be programmers, there are still opportunities.

I think there's going to be a strong market for people with programming skills and experience who combine that with some other specialised substantive knowledge. Programmers who are knowledgeable about securities regulations, for example, would be helpful in coding up scripts and bots to streamline data gathering and document review in securities enforcement matters. Programmers who are expert in risk analysis and valuation can potentially add more value and save cost versus a combination of programmers who only know a little bit about risk or valuation and risk/valuation experts who don't know how to code.

Computers can make people much more efficient and more productive, and programmers who aren't just programmers but are actually working in different non-programming fields could really have a huge competitive advantage over people who are limited to off-the-shelf packages. I've often thought I'd be a lot more efficient in my job in many cases if I could program in MS Visual Basic.

ALP said...

Articles behind a paywall, but I too would like to know more about our new robot overlords.
********
Clearly, the paywall is part of the overlord structure. No WSJ for you, lowly fleshsack.

ALP said...

Articles behind a paywall, but I too would like to know more about our new robot overlords.
********
Clearly, the paywall is part of the overlord structure. No WSJ for you, lowly fleshsack.

Robert Cook said...

"Good plan, voting for Obama and all."

I am no fan of Obama, as most here should know, but how is this Obama's fault?

This is the result of policies that have been been put in place for the last two decades, (at least), policies that serve the interests of companies seeking cheaper labor opportunities whereever thay may be found. These policies' destruction of jobs here at home are compounded by increasing use of robotics, computing and other jobs-killing advances in technology.

This is the future being born...now. We will not soon see again (if ever) an America where most citizens are employed at well-paying jobs, (or at all).

Matthew Sablan said...

"We will not soon see again (if ever) an America where most citizens are employed at well-paying jobs."

Unemployment is only at about 8%-13%, depending on how you want to count. We're not at dystopia yet. I mean, we're not near the end of the world 5% that we were at when Bush was president, but, it hasn't gotten that much worse on a macro-level.

Robert Cook said...

"Unemployment is only at about 8%-13%, depending on how you want to count. We're not at dystopia yet."

The way the government opts to count "unemployment" is a sham, and real unemployment is estimated to be much higher.

Another estimate

And, not all "employment" is equal: there are many counted as "employed" who are literal wage slave: temps, part-time workers, seasonal workers, service workers, and others who work too few hours per week, or who earn too little per hour, and who have no benefits from their jobs--no paid leave or sick time, for instance--such that they still scrape to get by, or must still seek public assistance, and who are one emergency away from destitution and even homelessness.

We do live in a dystopia. It's called Capitalismastan.

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...

I am no fan of Obama, as most here should know, but how is this Obama's fault?


This isn't a serious question.

TosaGuy said...

"And, not all "employment" is equal: there are many counted as "employed" who are literal wage slave: temps, part-time workers, seasonal workers, service workers, and others who work too few hours per week, or who earn too little per hour, and who have no benefits from their jobs--no paid leave or sick time, for instance--such that they still scrape to get by, or must still seek public assistance, and who are one emergency away from destitution and even homelessness."

And it will only get worse as Obamacare will force employers to cut back on hours, lay people off or do some job pooling.

elkh1 said...

It all depends on the college graduate's Major, doesn't it?
A major in pornography(Northwestern) certainly will get you a job close to your major.
A major in women's study, as long as Obama expands the hiring of paper pushers and sexist agitators.
A major in Computer Science, go to the Silicon Valley, they are bidding for your service.
Other majors? Tough luck, stay in your parents' basement.

ed said...

@ Matthew Sablan

"And, by the way, I majored in history and English, so, not exactly high-demand majors."

When I first started the breakdown by no degree, music degree and English degree was 33%, 33% and 33%. Now of course with CS degrees available there is a considerable shift towards CS. But I've known a lot of people with English degrees who have done very well in the software industry.

*shrug* it's about composition.

elkh1 said...

Robert Cook said... "I am no fan of Obama, as most here should know, but how is this Obama's fault?"

Then it must be Bush's fault.

Obvious reasons that this is Obama's fault:
Obama's new regulations (President's executive orders, agencies' regulations) are so mind boggling, a small business owner has to engage a professional prognosticator to avoid stepping on the land mines of lawsuits that will bankrupt him if the high and mighty Justice Dept decides to sue.

Another, Obamacare. Small businesses stop hiring at 49, worker's hr stops at 29.

Third, taxing the rich. The rich, except the ultra rich like Buffett and Soros, actually work their tails off to get "rich" ($200,000 a year rich), they risk their savings, their credits, worry about their payrolls. There is something call too high a risk, too little return.

For those who love Hope and Change, keep hoping that your application for disability came thru.

Christopher J Feola said...

TosaGuy said...
"Luck is the point where preparation and opportunity meet."

My dad taught me this, but he had a funnier way of getting you to remember:

"Opportunity knocks on every door. It's just that some people are always in the bathroom."

cjf

EMD said...

But I've known a lot of people with English degrees who have done very well in the software industry.

Because, frankly, unless you are highly specialized, you basically don't learn shit in college you can't pick up on the job.

mark said...

Robert Cook said...
policies that serve the interests of companies seeking cheaper labor opportunities whereever thay may be found. These policies' destruction of jobs here at home are compounded by increasing use of robotics, computing and other jobs-killing advances in technology.

Lower costs and technology are good things. They are disruptive to the status quo, but they are also job creators for new fields. Human hands alone can no longer create the majority of the products you require to live.

Balfegor said...

But I've known a lot of people with English degrees who have done very well in the software industry.

Yes, but were they typical English majors? I know someone who got a degree in comparative literature who is now working in computer programming. But he's much better suited to programming and other quantitative tasks than squishy subjects like literature. There's people who end up in English degrees because they don't know their own strengths (and weaknesses). Or because they want to think of themselves as being the English major type rather than the Compleat Nerd.

ironrailsironweights said...

One thing we all forget is that the unemployed and underemployed recent graduates started college before the recession began and therefore may not have realized what they were getting themselves into. For example, assuming four years to complete college (many people take longer), a 2010 graduate would have started college in 2006, when the economy was humming along neatly and there wasn't much reason to worry about the future. Even the most recent graduates, from the class of 2012, would have started college a few weeks prior to the Lehman Weekend that was the tipping point into recession. Only when the class of 2013 graduates a couple months from now will we have college graduates who enrolled during the recession. And even they may have thought it would end by the time they got their degrees.

Peter

Balfegor said...

Re: mark

Lower costs and technology are good things. They are disruptive to the status quo, but they are also job creators for new fields. Human hands alone can no longer create the majority of the products you require to live.

Well, they might not be able to produce these lovely electronics and so on. But clothing and food and housing? Sure! Unfortunately, I don't earn enough money to pay for all the valets, laundrymaids, housemaids, cooks, and punkah-wallahs I would require to live in comparable comfort.

elkh1 said...

Robert Cook said...
"computing and other jobs-killing advances in technology."

Yeah, those horseless carriages took away the stable boy's livelihood, gutted the horse whip maker's hope to send his broods to an Ivy League...

"...policies that serve the interests of companies seeking cheaper labor opportunities ..."

Walmart is the worst of all. The Chinese seamstresses took all the jobs making cheap clothing so our barely employed minimum wage worker can buy a new cheap coat for her little girl and still has a few bucks to spend at MickyD.

Toyota is another culprit taking away our high paying jobs. Its robot made cars undercut our Govt Motor cars made by our planet's highest paid union workers.

Absolutely outrageous those cheap human and robotic labors.

Let's pay at least double for American made clothing, a couple thousands more for an American union worker made hybrid that blows up your garage.

bagoh20 said...

Cook,
You just need to read the wise Robert Cook to learn where the problem is. He tells you, if you just know how to listen.

First he will tell you that companies take their jobs off-shore to escape from bad policies. Then in the next breath he will tell you how the workers need these policies to avoid being "wage slaves".

You, and people like you are the reason jobs left in the first place. If you want those jobs to come back, get the Chinese to adopt some your socialist policies. Your ideas have already done enough damage here and in Europe. Go "help" the poor Chinese.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook said... 'I am no fan of Obama, as most here should know, but how is this Obama's fault?'

"Then it must be Bush's fault."


Did I say it was Bush's fault?

This is not the fault of any one president, your naive notion that one party must be seen as "good" and the other "bad," (each differing according only to one's own political perspective) to the contrary.

They're all at fault.

elkh1 said...

Cook: "They're all at fault."

Not quite. To reiterate a few points:

Obama's new regulations (President's executive orders, agencies' regulations) are so mind boggling, a small business owner has to engage a professional prognosticator to avoid stepping on the land mines of lawsuits that will bankrupt him if the high and mighty Justice Dept decides to sue.

Another, Obamacare. Small businesses stop hiring at 49, worker's hr stops at 29.

Third, taxing the rich. The rich, except the ultra rich like Buffett and Soros, actually work their tails off to get "rich" ($200,000 a year rich), they risk their savings, their credits, worry about their payrolls. There is something call too high a risk, too little return.

David Davenport said...

Programmers who are knowledgeable about securities regulations, for example, would be helpful in coding up scripts and bots to streamline data gathering and document review in securities enforcement matters. Programmers who are expert in risk analysis and valuation can potentially add more value and save cost versus a combination of programmers who only know a little bit about risk or valuation and risk/valuation experts who don't know how to code.

In other words, financial securities lawyers also need to be software developers.

So, if you're an unemployed law school grad, all you need to do is go back to school and get a Comp. Sci. degree.

How to finance your additional education? No problem, just sign up for a student loan.

wyo sis said...

This may have been said already, but maybe the dems could find a way for robots to vote.

Sabinal said...

it seems like there are more sore losers here gloating over kids not finding a job because of their supposed support over Obama rather than real concerns about the future of their employment.

Grow up. Romney lost. Get over it. And I say this not voting for Obama.

I'm with Matthew S. - there is no guarantees for work except to work hard when you can get it and it may not be in the major you choose.

Not everyone is going to be in those "acceptable" fields/jobs (ie conservative -approved jobs because they think that those in such jobs will blindly vote Republican). And there is no guarantee that such acceptable jobs are out there; they can be in-sourced via H1b visas or held up because of the economy

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