The future of work in America: People and places, today and tomorrow

The future of work in America: People and places, today and tomorrow


The future of work is not something that remains on the horizon. It’s already arriving in workplaces across America. The McKinsey Global Institute analyzed more than 3000 US cities and counties to understand their labor markets today and their prospects for the future. Automation will affect some of the biggest occupational categories in the US economy. Jobs that are found in every community from coast to coast, but some places are in a better position to adapt and continue generating new jobs than others. 25 urban areas–places like Houston New York, Seattle and Denver–led the post recession recovery, and they could deliver more than 60 percent of the nation’s job growth again through 2030. Some smaller cities are also powering ahead: emerging startup hubs like Provo, Utah or Boise, Idaho. College towns like Gainesville, Florida or Ann Arbor, Michigan. Retirement destinations like Sarasota, Florida and Asheville, North Carolina. But hundreds of less dynamic cities might see only modest job gains. Without innovative growth strategies places like Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Saint Louis, and Spokane risk falling behind. 54 trailing cities like Mobile, Alabama or Bloomington, Illinois, need to turn around. America’s 2000 rural counties have mixed prospects. A few outliers have strong economies based on tourism, energy, or mining. But the majority have seen little or no job growth since the great recession, and many could lose more jobs in the decade ahead We also looked at who holds the jobs that could be most affected by automation. People with a high school diploma or less are four times more likely to be displaced as those with a Bachelor’s Degree. More than a quarter of Hispanic workers are in shrinking occupations. 11.5 million workers over age 50 could be displaced and so could nearly 15 million young people, who will need help starting their careers. This puts a premium on getting people the right training to qualify for in demand roles and ensuring that workers can access opportunities. These trends are unfolding in a time when fewer Americans are moving than ever. The future of work presents challenges, but the outcomes are not written in stone. Preparing Americans for the jobs of tomorrow will take coordinated effort between local business leaders, policy makers, and educators, to ensure that the opportunities created by technological innovation benefit all workers, and all communities.

2 Comments

  • Bharat TheJaiswal says:

    Very good research, geographical explained research are more required these days to understand growth patterns, urbanisation, agglomeration and convergence prospects. I would like to read whole research to know which were the significant variables.

  • David Heller says:

    The low skilled suffer while the highly skilled doesn’t. Yang 2020!

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