Education Really Is The Key, It Really Is
I hear politicians right now talking about the jobless recovery and what can be done to stimulate job growth. Sort term, there is probably nothing that can be done, especially since government itself is now letting workers go. Our federal government cannot afford to employ all the unemployed people so the only solution is private sector job creation. And are you going to go poof and create jobs? No, the truth is that no matter what you do, business will not hire people they don’t need.
In this country, we need more skilled workers. The ranks of the unemployed are nearly all unskilled or trades people. There are many, many more openings for people with math, science, and technology skills than people to fill them… perhaps not as many as in the past, but there is still a need that is not fillable. And I understand that you can say “Here in Detroit (or Houston, etc.) there are no jobs of any kind”, and you might be right. But as a whole, the US has jobs for skilled workers that cannot be filled. If we had more skilled workers and less unskilled, we would be closer to having a match between jobs and workers of all kinds.
There might be a difficult time retraining older workers for various reasons, and maybe those barriers need to be defined and broken down. That’s one place where government could possibly help. But even more importantly, we need to make sure that all graduating seniors that want to go to college get the opportunity to go without being burdened by a lifetime worth of debt. More kids going into college in 2011 means fewer looking for a full time job, and more openings for older adults who need jobs.
Ok, nothing is solved in September 2010 by increasing college attendance in 2011, but it could help the unemployment rate next year a bit. If there is really an effort to increase post-secondary education over the next few years, we might yet again achieve full employment in the United States, with the unemployment rate down around 4%. Right now we’re near 10%.
If our federal government is going to throw money around and not help more kids go to college, shame on them for overlooking the one, and probably only, area that can be helped by government.
Please note that I have a child in college now and another one going next year, but I really don’t think I would be helped much directly by new education programs. My thought is to help our society as a whole by making positive changes with education.