Report: 65 percent of near-future jobs not yet invented

If you're living through the Great Recession and thinking there are larger forces at work, you're right. Squeezed in the middle by relentless automation, employees are feeling the pinch. The link between technology investment and employment growth seems to have been permanently severed, according to Chris Jablonski at ZDNet. Then there's this:

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 65% of today’s grade school kids will end up at a job that hasn't been invented yet. It may behoove educators, academic institutions, and policy makers to prepare them for tomorrow’s challenges by harnessing the power of computing, collective intelligence and human ingenuity.

Frankly, I don't know how "educators and policy makers" as a group can react nimbly enough to make useful suggestions, and, contrarian that I am, I'm not sure I'd take their advice in any case. But if 65 percent of jobs twenty or thirty years hence haven't even been created yet, the way I see it, there is still time to get the world's first space-based art-science collaborative - ahem - off the ground.

Jablonski links to Douglas Rushkoff's piece, "Are Jobs Obsolete?" And for some really big-picture perspective, Rushkoff links to the dreadlocked digital-skeptic, Jaron Lanier.

Like many of you, I feel the pinch. I wonder whether I'm still useful, and work harder than I ever have to remain so. Jablonski ends his piece on a positive note: "thinking, dreaming, learning, communicating and feeling" are human, not machine, skills. So take heart. Like you, I don't know what those new jobs will be, but whether employed or self-employed, entrepreneur or entry level, meaning making will always have a place.

Wayne