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The Future of Work

Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 12:04 PM
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The Future of Work

by Charles Hugh Smith, contributing editor
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Executive Summary

  • Many of today's current job positions will vanish as the debt that has made them possible retraces
  • Future demand for work will come from non-financial sectors
  • Cost management will re-assert it's importance on par with income growth
  • Non-market and hybrid work models will grow to employ many more people than they do now
  • Participation in social and capital networks (both physical and virtual) will become increasingly valuable

Part I

If you have not yet read Part I, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Part II

The Vulnerability of Our Debt-Dependent Workforce

In Part I of The Future of Work, we examined the future trend of the US economy and found that ever-expanding debt has been the “engine” that has powered growth (as measured by GDP, gross domestic product) over the past 30 years. The productivity of debt has now fallen to zero, or perhaps even less than zero, which means that increasing debt no longer adds to GDP.

The structural weakness of this model is reflected by the diminishing number of jobs, and the declining ratio of payroll and employment to population and per capita measures of the economy.

Simply put, an economy that has become increasingly dependent on debt for its growth no longer creates jobs. Rather, the cost of servicing all that debt acts as unproductive friction.

 

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