2013 December 21 Saturday
Employers Hiring More Doctoral Degrees

Demand for labor is highest for the most skilled and most credentialed.

Due largely to huge layoffs in the banking industry, hiring for workers with new MBAs will decline about 25 percent over last year, predicts Phil Gardner, an economist and director of MSUís Collegiate Employment Research Institute. Hiring for all degrees, however, is expected to increase 2 percent. This is led by a 26 percent jump for those with doctoral degrees and a 7 percent surge for those with bachelorís degrees.

Employers are going for specialized skills (e.g. statisticians and machine learning engineers) and for higher intelligence. The average Ph.D. has higher IQ.

This brings to mind one of my favorite links about how employment prospects are changing in the United States. See in chart 4 how in manufacturing only employment for advanced degrees increased from 1992 to 2009 (bachelor's degrees employees peaked in about 1995).

By 2009, manufacturers employed 1,214,000 workers with an advanced degreeóa 44 percent increase since 1992.

Also, see another chart on how coming out of the last recession only college grads have done well in the labor market.

So what are the less educated doing with their time? We know the overall labor market participation rate is dropping for a number of reasons. Also, some people might not be getting new jobs because the time period for when one can get unemployment benefits was increased nationally and in some states in the last recession. Well, Evan Soltas points out that when North Carolina recently dumped outs of people off of unemployment benefits the labor market shrunk. In other words, labor force participation dropped. It does not look like there is much demand for the less skilled who are of working age.

Now I will give you my standard advice: move up. If you do not not move up you are likely going to move down. Get more skills. Change to a job where the upsides are greater if you work harder. Then work harder. Find ways to innovate. Find ways to stand out and lead. Go up because the middle is shrinking. Median household incomes peaked in 1998 and in most states median incomes have declined from 2000 to 2012. Adjust to the new labor market. Adjust to the technological developments that are cutting the demand for average and below average workers.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 December 21 07:30 PM 


Comments
radical white blogger said at December 22, 2013 3:34 AM:

I do not believe the stats that come out of the govt or any other large institution unless those stats go against a dominant narrative that happens to boost the fortunes of large sectors of the economy.

In this case this stat about Phd's being hired boosts the higher educational industry. Therefore this particular is suspect and may well be false or highly manipulated.

Wolf-Dog said at December 22, 2013 12:41 PM:

But as computer science and in particular object oriented programming becomes more established, manufacturing robots will gradually become self-sustaining, very much like Skynet. When this happens, we shall see that only the top 0.01 % of the programmers will be needed, the rest will be fired. Even education and entertainment will be automated. (Actors and actresses will be computer generated composite personalities, and even the movie scripts will be written by artificial intelligence, so computation will not be confined to manufacturing.)

Dean said at December 22, 2013 1:28 PM:

"Now I will give you my standard advice: move up. If you do not not move up you are likely going to move down. Get more skills. Change to a job where the upsides are greater if you work harder. Then work harder. Find ways to innovate. Find ways to stand out and lead. Go up because the middle is shrinking. Median household incomes peaked in 1998 and in most states median incomes have declined from 2000 to 2012. Adjust to the new labor market. Adjust to the technological developments that are cutting the demand for average and below average workers."

Sounds like bad advice. You're describing a losing strategy. You're essentially telling people to keep buying lottery tickets. In this environment, the only people that will make any money are those in a position to collect rent. The way to get rent is through politics/war, not work, skills, jobs, etc.

Instead you should be telling people to move to isolated areas with cheap land, to buy up land, organize politically, join or start religions, etc.

Randall Parker said at December 22, 2013 1:56 PM:

Dean,

How are people going to earn a living in an isolated area?

If one is capable of learning skills that earn one more money then one can buy a house or invest in that cheap land or buy some stocks or bonds.

Do you think people aren't earning large salaries by having very valuable skills? I know lots of people who earn 5, 10, or more times the median individual income in America. They aren't living in the sticks. They are living in more densely populated areas that have industries which pay highly for assorted engineering and business skills.

Dean said at December 22, 2013 2:21 PM:

How do people afford real estate and real assets where "the jobs" are? Most can't and don't. Many are tied to huge mortgages, and they're in a perverse situation where real estate has to become even more unaffordable for them to not go underwater or have some sort of wealth on paper.

The people you know are a tiny minority. Most professionals who earn high incomes don't have "very valuable skills." They're MBAs and lawyers in rent seeking positions.


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