The Ultimate 21st Century Challenge: Good Jobs

Comments Off on The Ultimate 21st Century Challenge: Good Jobs
The Ultimate 21st Century Challenge: Good Jobs

Recently, the Gallup Organization assembled worldwide polling data that clearly showed that everywhere on the face of the planet, mankind’s biggest perceived need is a good job.1 By “a good job,” the respondents mean formal, steady work from an employer, of at least 30 hours per week, which pays a “decent wage.” To the respondents, having this good job was more important than having a family, their religion, or various ideals such as democracy, freedom, and peace.

Over the past 30 years, this shift in mankind’s number one desire from peace or security to wanting a job, tracks with globalization and the increased share of the world’s population that’s moving up from subsistence living. A growing awareness of better lifestyles is driving people to take the necessary steps to get there — and the path to attaining that lifestyle is a decent job. Consequently, the demand for decent jobs is increasing.

Unfortunately for all these job seekers, there is a global jobs shortage.2 Of the 7 billion people on Earth in 2012, 5 billion are over the age of 15. Of those 5 billion, 3 billion say they want a full-time, formal job. The problem is there are only about 1.2 billion of those jobs in the world today. That means there is a potentially devastating shortfall of nearly 1.8 billion jobs. Even if we assume 10 percent of these people want only part-time work, the real global unemployment rate is a whopping 50 percent!

This has ramifications for citizens’ relationships with their cities, countries, and in fact, the whole world. Even now, enormous societal tension is building up among the roughly 25 percent of the world’s people who are underemployed. Much of radical Islamism is a by-product of 70 percent underemployment in places like Yemen.

Solving the jobs problem will impact many areas of life, and world leaders will need to consider every move they make, from waging war to building societies, in this new context of populations wanting a “good job.”3

Consequently, stimulating job growth has become the new priority for all leaders, because failure to do so will lead to instability. In his book The Coming Jobs War,4 Gallup Chairman Jim Clifton underscores this point when he states, “If countries fail at creating jobs, their societies will fall apart. Countries, and more specifically cities, will experience suffering, instability, chaos, and eventually revolution. This is the new world that leaders will confront.”

Viewing world events through this prism, it’s easy to understand the current state of widespread unrest, from the Arab Spring to the Occupy Movement...

To continue reading, become a paid subscriber for full access.
Already a Trends Magazine subscriber? Login for full access now.

Subscribe for as low as $195/year

  • Get 12 months of Trends that will impact your business and your life
  • Gain access to the entire Trends Research Library
  • Optional Trends monthly CDs in addition to your On-Line access
  • Receive our exclusive "Trends Investor Forecast 2015" as a free online gift
  • If you do not like what you see, you can cancel anytime and receive a 100% full refund