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The New Blue Collar Jobs Of Tomorrow

The new blue collar jobs.  We’ll look at where they are and what it will take to get one.

This Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 photo shows Jonah Devorak testing the dimensions on a high-pressure valve at Swagelok Co. in Strongsville, Ohio. (AP)

This Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 photo shows Jonah Devorak testing the dimensions on a high-pressure valve at Swagelok Co. in Strongsville, Ohio. (AP)

The stock market’s wobbly, Europe’s economy looks weak, China looks a little peaked.  You could worry plenty about the economy with a capital “E.”  But for most people, the economy boils down first to a job.  Everybody’s been spooked on that front at some point, but especially American blue collar workers.  Now, we’ve got big new headlines saying there’s a new wave of blue collar jobs coming open.  “Middle skill” boomers retiring.  New arenas opening up.  Really?  This hour On Point:  the new blue collar jobs.  What they are.  What they will be.  What they’ll pay. And are they for real?

— Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jodi Upton, senior database editor at USA Today. (@jodiupton)

Barry Bluestone, labor economist and professor of political economy at Northeastern University, where he is also the director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy. (@BarryBluestone)

Erik Brynjolfsson, professor in the MIT Sloan School of Management. Co-author of the book, “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Machines.” Also co-author of “Wired for Innovation.”(@erikbryn)

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: Where the jobs are: the new blue collar — “By 2017, an estimated 2.5 million new, middle-skill jobs like Poole’s are expected to be added to the workforce, accounting for nearly 40% of all job growth, according to a USA TODAY analysis of local data from Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. and CareerBuilder.”

Brookings Institution: A Look at New Employment Data for Metropolitan Labor Markets — “The unemployment rate is an incomplete picture of the state of the labor market. That is because it only captures the share of individuals who are looking for work, but unable to find it. It thus leaves out a large number of Americans who, frustrated by the state of the job market, have decided not to look for work, or have given up doing so. Moreover, it focuses on all individuals age 16 and over in the labor market, which may include many younger and older people who are not in their prime working years.”

Bloomberg View: The Missing Trio in This Month’s Jobs Report — “The positive news on job creation doesn’t extend to wage growth. The annual increase in earnings slipped to 2 percent, below a still-modest expectation of 2.2 percent. At the same time, the labor-force participation rate fell slightly to 62.7 percent from 62.8 percent in August, a multidecade low.”

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