The swinging ’90s are over. The bosses are in handcuffs. Employees hold the pink slips. That’s today’s image of the American workplace.
But there’s another economic “crisis” looming, according to a new study, harder to perceive, harder to fix too: the authors say over the next 20 years, America won’t have the right workers, and workers won’t have the right skills. It could bring “a new burst of inequality” and a deeper economic slide.
The study is a call for change, from the high halls of Congress down to the mindset of the individual worker. The query of Ebenezer Scrooge seems apt, “Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they the shadows of things that may be, only?” Peering into the past, the present, and the future of the workforce.
David Ellwood, Harvard University labor economist and director of the Aspen Institute report
Beth Shulman, report contributor and former Vice President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union
Jim Oesterreicher, report contributor and former CEO of JC Penney.