The federal government recently announced that 288,000 jobs were created in June, moving the unemployment rate from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent.
The same day, U.S. News & World Report printed an article with the details behind these numbers. It turns out that we actually lost 523,000 full-time jobs in June, and added 800,000 part-time jobs. The consensus is that the shift toward part-time jobs is due to the looming Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate. This is a big employment shift.
The second trend is freelancing. According to Forbes.com, one third of Americans (17 million) are freelancers, contractors or consultants, and there will be more of them than full-time employees in six years. Employers save money by hiring freelancers (no benefits) to save money and to get access to specialized experts.
The third big shift is described in the book, “The Second Machine Age,” which explains how technology will continue to change the work we do and how we do it. Technology may have pretty much eliminated the typewriter, but it has created a lot of jobs in computing.
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Technology also has pretty much eliminated the home telephone, but look at the number of people who have cell phones. As technology makes one thing obsolete, it opens the door for new products. And with those new products come new and different jobs.
Unless you are near retirement, you have to be able to adapt with these changes. Let’s deal with the part-time employment situation first. According to Investor.com, most of the shift to part-time work is happening in the lowest wage jobs.
The lower your income, the faster you need to work to move up to the next level. One resource is the “Gainful Employment” web page on the Central Georgia Technical College website: http://www.centralgatech.edu/general/gainful_employment.cfm.
This is a searchable website that allows you to click on a degree program, and learn what it costs, how long it takes to complete, and what percentage of students were placed in jobs upon completion. You can also research grant and aid options.
If you are employed, ask your employer if there are plans to cut hours. Next, ask what you can do to become more relevant to the company.
Do you need to take courses, take on new responsibilities, or change any of your current habits and behaviors? Tell them that you want to grow with them and that you are willing to learn whatever it takes to do so. Then, follow through with their suggestions.
If you are an employee and are considering self-employment, interview others who have already made this switch. And make sure you have everything lined up, including savings and a serious business plan, before you make the leap.
I would also recommend you pay a visit to our local Small Business Development Center in Macon, maconsbdc.org. Visit its website and learn more about what it has to offer, then set an appointment to talk with someone at the center about your ideas.
Take control over your future by understanding how the world is changing.
Sherri Goss is vice president of Rosenberg Financial Group. You can reach her by calling 922-8100, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.