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Work Force 2020: Work and Workers in the 21st Century
About the authors
Richard W. Judy is a Senior Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute. He is the senior co-author of Workforce 2020, a book about the challenges and opportunities that will face the American corporations and workers in the early years of the twenty first century. Richard W. Judy is presently the Director of the Center for Workforce Development at the Hudson Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana. Judy is also an economist specializing in workforce issues and labor economics. Apart from workforce 2020, Work and Workers in the 21st Century, published recently by the Hudson Institute, is another work of Richard W. Judy (Hudson Institute).
Richard W. Judy's co-author, Carol D'Amico is a former senior fellow at Hudson Institute. D'Amico is a nationally recognized expert on workforce development and education issues. She is a published author, and a frequently requested speaker. On July 30, 2001, Carol D'Amico was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE). She earned an Ed.D. In leadership and policy studies and a Master of Science degree in adult education from Indiana University. (Hudson Institute).
Background of the book
It was ten years ago that the Hudson Institute's landmark study Workforce 2000 set the agenda for a new recognition of workforce issues. The New York Times reviewed it as "one of the most influential studies ever produced by a think tank. This revolutionary report set the conditions for much of the policy dialogues at the government and corporate levels. Thus, the book was the first to draw attention to the changing demographics of the American workforce as well as the growing gap between the abilities expected to be required for entry-level jobs in the future and those to be possessed by new entrants into the labor force. However, after its great success, Hudson institute released its follow up, Workforce 2020 Elizabeth, Workforce 2020 Predicts More Older Workers Book Review).
About the book
The book, WorkForce 2020 examined the trends that shaped the economy and workforce and combined all into a different and new amount of study. The authors had set the record right on the demographic setup of the workforce in the years 2000 to 2020 and challenged the conservative wisdom on trends affecting American workers and employers. It has analyzed the significant emerging issues, along with the details that have brought the demographic changes in the workforce.
Their potentially serious effects on the job market and the economy all together has also been analyzed. Thus, it predicts the future of the American Labor Force.
Workforce 2020 acts as an advocate for the business community to explore employment needs and concerns, educate the business community on current employment programs, and facilitate the process of bringing employers and economically disadvantaged workers together.
The book seeks to educate employers and the community on the trends facing the United States over the next twenty years. It specifically aims to make the reader think about how recruiting, hiring, training and promoting can facilitate the workforce development. It also describes the changes that are needed to address the critical issues surrounding the economic, community and workforce scenario.
Analysis of the book
The authors drew attention to four forces, which make achievable the unparalleled growth of opportunities in the labor force since the United States labor force carry on its ethnic diversification, though at a quite slow pace. Thus, due to the realities of the labor force of the future, both authors also emphasized the following public policy issues:
Americans ought to confront the real challenge of the increasing anxious needs to fix the country's public education systems.
American firms should continue to struggle for the best workers by offering a collection of benefits and accommodating a diversity of lifestyle and workplace arrangements.
Moreover, American firms must press for immigration policies that open America's doors to capable workers from abroad.
Furthermore, the book covered the effects of globalization on United States business and the American worker, the influence of rapid technological change, known as the skills gap, and the need for a new model of education, training, and employment services to prepare workers for the jobs of the future years. It has also provided a roadmap of the landscape for America's labor force in the early 21st century (Workforce Index).
However, Workforce 2000, was a positive preview of the turn-of-the-century workplace, had predicted the health of present economy and the drop in manufacturing jobs as a share of total employment.
But for the early 21st century, the authors for the book Workforce 2020 envisaged fast-paced technological change, the unparalleled importance of the global economy, increasing racial diversification of the workforce, and the aging of America and its workers (Workforce Index).
According to Judy and D'Amico, United States policy still has to come in order to grip with the full insinuation of the aging of the population. The Baby boomers will start to reach age 65 in 2010, and by 2020, approximately 20 per cent of the U.S. population will be 65 or older. There will be as numerous Americans of retirement age as there are 20- to 35-year-olds. Baby boomers will have an important impact on the workforce, both through their exit from it and there on going occurrence in it due to their role as receiver of government entitlements, and as consumers (Workforce Index).
The book has also outlined a number of controversial solutions to the problems lifted by the study. For instance, the authors presumed the certainty of enormous changes in health insurance industry due to the conflict link between health insurance and employment to which the authors suggested is taxing employer-paid health benefits (Barnes and Noble).
Furthermore, to deal with Social Security's problems, the authors advised lower benefits and later retirement ages, two options that respondents to one recent survey considered most objectionable. They also condemned the efforts to preserve the current structure of both Social Security and Medicare. The authors predicted in the book the thoughtful changes in Medicare and Social Security during the next two decades, where tax rates requires to maintain the current "pay-as-you-go" approach for funding such programs which will rise as the boomers retire, until retirees agrees to expect lower benefits or economy grows at a stronger rate than rate expected. Additionally, retirement outline should be amended as those who will reach to 65 age will require outside income and will be unable to retire. The others who will not want to retire will search other work options (Brookings Press).
Judy and D'Amico contended that the highly exposed downsizing of the 1980s and early 1990s, covered the challenge faced by American companies in the late 1990s and further on the increasing short supply of skilled workers (Barnes and Noble).
Furthermore, as life expectancies will grow, older Americans will continue to symbolize a powerful segment of the consumer market. They would also want entertainment; travel opportunities free time activities, specific healthcare, and long-term care facilities. Thus, their demand for accounting, home-repair services, and many other services will have a strong effect on local labor markets throughout the country. The book, thus foresee that the jobs created by this service sector will restore some of the low-skilled or unskilled manufacturing jobs that the United Stated is probable to lose in the next decades (Elizabeth, Workforce 2020 Predicts More Older Workers Book Review).
Thus, the continued employment of older workers, according to Workforce 2020, represents a welcome change, as the retaining of older workers for longer period will relieve the growing shortage of knowledge and ability that will develop in the early 21st century. Companies would then start to think how to tap into this pool of older talent and how to become accustomed to benefit packages for the shared well-being of both…[continue]
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