Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sun Aug 9th 2009 at 5:50pm UTC

The Big Restructure

It’s more than a jobless recovery, we’ve been looking at a jobless decade or more, at least in terms of private sector jobs, according to Business Week’s chief economist, Michael Mandel.

Beneath this trend lies a broad and fundamental restructuring of the U.S., and virtually every other advanced economy – the decline of manufacturing and the rise of professional, knowledge-based, and creative work on the one hand, and lower-end service work on the other. This chart (via the New York Time’s Floyd Norris) depicts the shift.

Norris explains:

The total picture is of an economy that has changed in substantial ways over the decade. After the recession ends, job growth is likely to resume. But there is no indication that the secular trend toward a more service-oriented economy will reverse. A decade from now, there are likely to be still more jobs at architecture and engineering firms (up 1.2 percent a year over the last decade) and at bars and restaurants (up 1.8 percent a year). But few expect that manufacturing will reverse its long decline as a major employer in the United States.

6 Responses to “The Big Restructure”

  1. Creative Class: The Big Restructure | Lies My Gantt Chart Told Me Says:

    [...] in US job growth is clearly moving away from manufacturing and toward more knowledge workers (See here for the data). I remember back in the 90’s when everyone was talking about the shift to a [...]

  2. Mr. Nobody Says:

    The people around me are from manufacturing based environments and all have been affected by the current climate. They seem to believe that their jobs will return one day but their is no loyalty in the private sector from my perspective. Education is the way out and needs to advance in this country (via internet) especially on a part-time basis. We are so behind the U.S. (ex. my wife completed her MBA online at a U.S. based university). It would seem to me that their are large holes in Canada and this could prove to be a big service industry if someone could tap into it!

  3. Buzzcut Says:

    I personally think that government jobs and jobs in industries that are heavily regulated by government (education, health care) are sucking all the oxygen out of the economy, suffocating manufacturing and other industries.

    The stats don’t prove me wrong. Government, education, and health care all show gains.

    I don’t disagree with Obama that our health care system is unsustainable, that it costs too much, and that it has negative consequences for other aspects of our society.

  4. Mr. Nobody Says:

    If you disagree with our health care system perhaps you should move down south where they spend and arm and a leg on theirs! We pay peanuts for what we have and would pay more if I had too. Health care is vital to our well-being and everyone should have that kind of care given to them. As far as government jobs, that is the kind of dough we ought to be making in the private sector, don’t you agree! It’s not wasted money since people use it to buy things and keeps the economy going, I don’t see your point.

  5. Christi Pemberton Says:

    I knew that this was becoming a major shift in the economic and job structure..not just about the recession. We saw the shift from manufacturing to more knowledge-based jobs coming for a long time, but this recession gave it a huge kick forward, and many in this country were not nearly as ready for it. Money can be obtained and there are opportunities, but you have to start to think differently about the U.S. economy, the job structure, and even the global economy. A lot of what used to work, is not working in this new century. If manufacturing jobs do come back, it will most likely be in the green technology/green collar sectors and similar types. We had the warning about this shift, but many did not listen and did not want to listen. The U.S. need to start paying attention to the fast-changing global market and ways it can work with it.

  6. Quirks of History? | Says:

    [...] Florida, at his Creative Class blog, shows how net private job growth in the US in the last decade is 0. However, within that number, [...]