Key Takeaways


Pink Collar Takeaways

The latest BLS release portends a large-scale struc­tural shift in the U.S. economy. For many years, service-providing firms have accounted for the vast majority of jobs added. This trend is expected to conti­nue in the years and decades to come. On the downside, the persistent growth of low-productivity sectors means that U.S. labor productivity growth will continue to decelerate. On the upside, most of the jobs that could be lost to technology have already been lost. In the years to come, as blue-collar work continues to die out, many Millennial men will have no choice but to find a pink-collar career.
Blue-collar executives must invest in better out­reach programs. The high (and rising) median age of blue-collar careers is a vicious cycle. Precisely because executives in these industries aren’t hiring many youn­ger workers, they are unprepared to fill openings when they do arise. Barring a family history of blue-collar work, most Millennials have no connection to these fields whatsoever. Without direct, effective outreach, blue-collar industries have no shot at attracting Millennials. So what can hiring managers do? Meet Millennials where they are (online, on college campuses, etc.) with a mes­sage portraying a field that offers meaningful work that can lead to a respectable career.

Pink Collar Takeaways Part 2

U.S. manufacturing isn’t “coming back”—in fact, it never left. Political leaders (Trump, anyone?) are wrong to complain that manufacturing is “going” abroad. U.S. manufacturers produce as much as they ever did; they just do it with ever-fewer workers. As FiveThirtyEight’s Ben Casselman points out, inflation-adjusted U.S. manufacturing output has climbed 20 percent since the end of the Great Recession—yet manufacturing employment has inched up just 5 percent over that time. Economists across the spectrum agree that technology has erased far more U.S. industrial jobs than China, a nation whose workforce is now more vulnerable than our own to further tech advances.
Women face obstacles on the career front as well. While it’s true that women are better suited for high-demand pink-collar jobs than men, the economy has been tough on both genders. Women face significant hurdles of their own, including a “glass ceiling” in terms of pay and opportunities, as well as work-life balance issues associated with motherhood. What’s more, men still dominate many of America’s most influential, dy­namic fields (like tech), while many women “creden­tial” themselves into secure yet unfulfilling roles. Per­haps unsurprisingly, the American Psychological Asso­ciation reports that women (especially Millennial wo­men) both exhibit more signs of stress than men and are more likely to say that their stress levels are on the rise.