On Friday, March 21 the On the Hill staff participated in the Tri County Journalism Educators Association Competition. Senior and Editor in Chief, Emmy Addison, won 2nd place in the News Writing Category. Here is her story.
According to Bill Watkins, Executive Director of California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, young people must combat the double challenge of selecting a relevant job specialization and staying abreast of the technological wave to cut their chances of facing unemployment.
”There’s two things economist can agree on,” said Mr. Watkins. “The first is that when a person enters the job market it’s critical to lifetime income [be it] in a good or bad economy. And the second is that your major will seriously impact what kind of first job you’ll get.”
Since the Industrial Revolution, people have begun a much faster race against technology. As it improves, machines that don’t demand wages take jobs once performed by people.
Economists agree that if something is not profitable, it is not sustainable. And currently substituting a paid employee with an unpaid machine is looking much more profitable.
“Business will get higher if an employee can make them more money than his or her weight as cost,” said Mr. Watkins.
Consequently young people must tackle the trouble of picking a direction that won’t result in replacement, and subsequently, unemployment.
Since the 2008 recession, catalyzed by Lehman Brothers Inc.’s declaration of bankruptcy, between 2 and 3 million Americans lost their jobs.
Unemployment has led to higher rates of suicide, domestic abuse and divorce, but strangely enough, it is also increased the number of students enrolling in college.
Despite the sudden surge of young people attending college degrees, technology creates an obstacle in the way of ultimate success.
”If technology changes too fast we may not be able to reach [employment] equilibrium,” said Mr. Watkins. “And that may result in sustainable unemployment.”
Mr. Watkins argues that more money should be spent on re-education and re-training people whose jobs have been replaced by technology.
The way young people can avoid this impending misfortune is to select an in demand field to specialize in.
“Innovation increases productivity,” said Mr. Watkins. “An innovation is staying ahead of technology.”
He predicts education will become cheaper with the introduction of online courses and fields of study will become narrower so as to funnel people more effectively into the job market.
In order to escape unemployment, a career must always be productive, relevant, and innovative.
”Jobs get us out of bed in the morning,” said Mr. Watkins. “Jobs keep us human.”