The World At Work: United
Over the past three decades, as developing economies industrialized and began to compete in world markets, a global labor market started taking shape. As more than one billion people entered the labor force, a massive movement from “farm to factory” sharply accelerated growth of productivity and per capita GDP in China and other traditionally rural nations, helping to bring hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. To raise productivity, developed economies invested in labor-saving technologies and tapped global sources of low-cost labor.
The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) finds these trends gathering force and spreading to China and other developing economies, as the global labor force approaches 3.5 billion in 2030. Based on current trends in population, education, and labor demand, the report projects that by 2020 the global economy could face the following hurdles:
- 38 million to 40 million fewer workers with tertiary education (college or postgraduate degrees) than employers will need, or 13 percent of the demand for such workers
- 45 million too few workers with secondary education in developing economies, or 15 percent of the demand for such workers
- 90 million to 95 million more low-skill workers (those
without college training in advanced economies or without even
secondary education in developing economies) than employers will
need, or 11 percent oversupply of such workers
To understand where these gaps are likely to arise and have the greatest impact, MGI looked at the 70 countries that account for 96 percent of global GDP and are home to 87 percent of the world’s population. By plotting their populations’ educational and age profiles, as well as per capita GDP, we can see how prepared their national labor forces are to meet future demand, how easily they can grow their labor forces, and how productive their labor is. This yields eight clusters of countries: four in developing economies, three in advanced economies, and one group comprising Russia and Central and Eastern European states.
view chart here
While market forces will move to eliminate projected imbalances before their full impact is felt, they cannot be avoided entirely without a concerted, global effort by governments and businesses to raise educational attainment and provide job-specific training. Advanced economies will need to double the pace at which the number of young people earning college degrees is rising—and find ways to graduate more students in science, engineering, and other technical fields; these workers will be in high demand, and their contributions will be critical for meeting the rising productivity imperative. Secondary and vocational training must be revamped to retrain mid-career workers and to provide job-specific skills to students who will not continue on to college.
Even then, in the next two decades, the world is likely to have too many workers without the skills to land full-time employment. In both developing and advanced economies, policy makers will need to find ways not only to produce high-skilled workers but also to create more jobs for those who aren’t as highly educated. Solutions include moving up the value chain in developing economies (food processing creates more employment than growing export crops, for example) and finding opportunities for workers without a college education to participate in fast-growing fields—such as health care and home-based personal services—in advanced economies.
Businesses operating in this skills-scarce world must know how to find talent pools with the skills they need and to build strategies for hiring, retaining, and training the workers who will give them competitive advantage. This will include finding ways to retain more highly skilled women and older workers. Businesses will also need to significantly step up their activities in shaping public education and training systems in order to build pipelines of workers with the right skills for the 21st-century global economy.
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Whilst the above (taken from here) is based purely on the principles of capitalism, the profit motive incentive and rationale for business, some of the statements are revealing and useful to those of us opposed to this system and give us an opportunity to explain an alternative way of approaching things. Notice that the statistics are presented from the narrow viewpoint of such considerations as increasing GDP, businesses making profit and workers lumped together in blocks denoting their desirability, usefulness, capability or worthlessness (“oversupply”). Notice absolutely no mention of fulfilling self-determined goals or accessing self-determined needs by humankind. It's all about workers, including you and me, as functionaries of the system, and if we're 'surplus to requirement' no mention of how we're expected to survive.
On all continents there are workers willing to work but surplus to requirements whilst at the same time there are homeless and hungry of all ages, there are sick unable to receive treatment, there are children denied basic education, elderly people unable to fend for themselves, infrastructure crumbling even in the richest nations, mass migration of those seeking employment, up to a third of all food produced being dumped, much of it for lack of the means to pay for it. A socialist system would turn this situation on its head. From each according to ability to each according to need is the basis of the socialist standpoint. Common ownership of the world's resources and the means of production would enable groups of 'workers' the world over to rectify the housing shortage, to distribute food to where it's required, to enable the training of many more 'workers' at all levels and specialities in the medical field, a massive rethink of what's needed for education in different areas of the planet, care workers and suitable facilities for all who require them, armies of workers to repair bridges and railway tracks and roads and to bring facilities and utilities to under-supplied areas.
Whatever is seen to be required by popular mandate can be fulfilled by us, the workers. There will be no borders but when we have free access to the requirements of life how many workers in desperation will then be keen to seek a life on a different continent as they are now? For the vast majority of world population profit is an unnecessary distraction, a cause of much misery for people and of most environmental problems. Instead of focussing on GDP, quarterly returns, investment possibilities in yet unexploited corners of the globe, the next business opportunity, etc., etc., (all to the benefit of a small minority) let's focus on ourselves, a massive global population working together to fulfil our own self-determined needs, working at what we each do best and thereby being proactive in assisting others to do the same – for the benefit of all.
There is a world, our world, to win back from the profiteers. Let's do it together. Workers of the world united is the way forward.