Anytime economists, industry leaders, or the public fear economic indicators, inflation, and other modern woes, we often see a “the sky is falling, the sky is falling” mentality.
I’m more of a silver-lining guy.
In truth, we have recently seen layoffs at:
- Amazon: 1% of workforce laid off (November 2022)
- Meta: 13% of workforce laid off (November 2022)
- Zillow: 5% of workforce laid off (October 2022)
I won’t include the Twitter implosion, which is an outlier. But clearly, some companies are putting on the brakes to hiring, and/or are conducting layoffs. However, if we look at it by industry, professional and business services took a big hit and social media and tech companies are cooling. But, let’s look at some growth areas.
Consider the CHIPS and Science Act.
This federal statute was signed into law by President Joe Biden on August 9, 2022. It will provide roughly 280 billion dollars in new funding to increase domestic research and manufacturing of semiconductors in the United States. Semiconductors are essential to modern life, with applications in communications, the Internet of Things, computing, healthcare, military systems, our “Smart” house systems and other building elements, transportation, clean energy, and much more. And there is an entire ecosystem of the surrounding electronics required so semiconductors can even work!
U.S. industries that rely on semiconductors will benefit as well. However, much of the CHIPS act will go toward developing the workforce. (New jobs!) There is no denying that some industries may be dying or disappearing, however, there will always be an industry that is expanding, growing, or innovating.
An obvious example is the energy industry—jobs related to green energy have experienced explosive growth. For example, the Department of Energy noted that jobs in the electric vehicle sector grew by roughly 26 percent in 2021.
Several industries can expect double-digit growth over the next decade. These include:
- Travel. The global COVID pandemic saw the travel industry take a huge hit. But people are now making plans after lockdowns and other restrictions.
- Information technology. Big data analysts, programmers, IT managers, computer system analysts, cyber security experts, help center technicians, and more will continue to play a big part in our future.
- Healthcare. The Boomers are aging, life expectancy is increasing (though we experienced a decline due to COVID deaths), and things that used to kill people in greater numbers, such as certain cancers, diseases like cystic fibrosis, and HIV, are now more manageable or have had breakthroughs that allow people to live longer with illnesses or chronic conditions.
- Construction and trades. We will always need experienced tradespeople.
What does this mean for our discussion? Opportunity will always exist, even if some think the sky is falling. What will be different will be the skills. New and derivative skills will need to continually be learned.
- https://mondo.com/insights/mass-layoffs-in-2022-whats-next-for-employees/#:~:text=Amazon%20layoffs%3A%201%25%20of%, accessed 11/10/22.
- https://www.zippia.com/advice/layoff-statistics/, accessed 11/5/22.
- https://www.energy.gov/articles/doe-report-finds-energy-jobs-grew-faster-overall-us-employment-2021, accessed 11/1/2022.
- https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2022/04/08/5-industries-experiencing-double-digit-growth-over-the-next-decade/?sh=629461b213ec, accessed 11/2/2022.