In the past, economic growth has been mirrored by a healthy and low unemployment rate. When businesses had the need to produce more, they would hire more employees to boost production. For this reason, many Americans believe that the high unemployment rate is still a sign that our economy is ailing. No matter how well the markets and companies are doing, the middle-class consumer just sees it as a potential disaster because it is still very difficult to get a job for those that are not educated in the proper fields. But the unemployment rate no longer reflects the economy because of the impact of modern technology.
Let's face it; the economy is obviously doing better. New startups are being created and existing companies are boasting record profits. But why is the unemployment rate still high? The answer is The Great Restructuring. When the economy collapsed, businesses had to restructure in order to function properly. To initially save money, employees were laid off. This freed up short-term capital but now there was less of a workforce to produce. This gap was bridged by technology. Whether it was a piece of factory equipment or a new type of software, companies used these tools to function during the recession. This is bad news for the middle-class worker.
Just because the economy is on the rebound does not mean that companies will go back to their old ways. If they can continue to pay fewer employees and create the same, if not more, output, then the unemployment rate will continue to remain high. Why pay an employee biweekly when you can purchase a piece of equipment or software for a one-time fee? The key is to be the person creating these tools for businesses.
Only the restructured employee will have a place in the restructured economy. Although entry-level positions are scarce, corporations are in need of an educated work-force more than ever. These high-tech positions are left unfilled because of the lack of qualified workers. Will you rise to the occasion and meet the need of the new economy?
For those who are unemployed, the advice is to either gain more training or start your own business. There is always room for start-ups and increased competition. Whatever path you decide to take, make sure the focus is on technology. Companies that do not adapt to the new market quickly fade away. Technology is the key to success in the new restructured economy.