The American Workplace Is More Skilled, but Workers Are Concerned They Are Becoming Irrelevant | Markle | Advancing America's Future

The American Workplace Is More Skilled, but Workers Are Concerned They Are Becoming Irrelevant

Publication Date: October 7, 2016

The ‘Tectonic changes’ that are reshaping the US workplace and the response to them are the subject of a major new research project from the Pew Center in association with the Markle Foundation. The study of over 5,000 US workers carried out over the Summer found that the nature of jobs is undergoing a fundamental shift with greater emphasis on knowledge as well as analytical, interpersonal and communication skills. In response, workers are retraining and reassessing their abilities to adapt to the demands of employers. Despite this, a growing number are worried that they are becoming irrelevant and have diminishing faith in the ability of politicians, the education system and their employers to address their concerns.

This is reflected most obviously in the fact that people are increasingly concerned about job security, even when they like their current role and believe they are a good fit. The study found that a majority of Americans are happy with their jobs with nearly half (49 percent) saying they are very satisfied and another 30 percent saying they are somewhat satisfied with their current role. Only about 15 percent said they were either very dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied with their positions.

They are also more likely to stay in their jobs, with the share of people who’ve been with their current employer for at least five years up to 51 percent in 2014, from 46 percent in 1996, according to Census figures quoted in the study. Nevertheless, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) say that workers overall have less security now than they did 20 to 30 years ago, with only 16 percent saying they have more.


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