In the past decade, America has rebounded from the great recession. While many employers have steadily added jobs, the stock market progressively booms, and home prices have reached all-time highs, not all of America is experiencing such success. As stated from McKinsey Global Institute’s report, The Future of Work in America, America is “a mosaic of local economies on diverging trajectories.” (1) As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution, new technologies will result in the elimination of millions of jobs while new ones will be created. According to the report, 60 percent of job growth will be concentrated in 25 megacities and their peripheries, including New York, Austin, and Arlington by 2030. In contrast, 54 middle class cities and 2,000 rural counties where many of our Affiliates are based, such as Detroit and Columbus, could see a decline in job growth, showing an even more polarized labor market. (2)
Vast disparities continue to riddle our country leaving generation after generation facing a never-ending cycle of poverty. Growing economic inequality and exclusion is threatening our nation, and these challenges looking forward will only increase in complexity and scale. The next wave of technology will have a significant impact on jobs across the country, shifting the workforce towards one that emphasizes roles in healthcare, STEM fields, and business services. Now, more than ever, is the time to act and respond to this transition, helping our rising leaders gain new skills that will ensure their success and generate a more sustainable economy.
2 SOURCE: McKinsey Global Institute analysis, 2019, The Future of Work in America, People and Places, Today and Tomorrow, pg. 7