Most of my readers, I suspect, are far more interested in “micro” economic topics these days than “macro” ones. In other words, I don’t tend to write much about big-picture issues and what the job market might look like 10-20 years from now, given my hunch that most of my blog followers are more concerned about the present moment — and what they might be able to do to get ahead — versus contemplating how the employment scene will look a decade down the road.
This being said, every now and then I like to feature some thoughts or showcase a resource that examines the job market from a 10,000-foot level. This time around, it relates to a book I recently picked up and read called The Coming Jobs War. This brand-new book, written by Jim Clifton, Chairman & CEO of the Gallup Organization, outlines some startling research about the global economy, the future of the job market, and some emerging dynamics that the U.S. and other societies are going to need to address if they hope to stay competitive.
The key finding? After six years of conducting the most comprehensive global poll ever conducted, designed at assessing the current thinking and state-of-mind of people in over 150 countries, Gallup has unearthed what the author calls a single “searing, clarifying, helpful world-altering” fact: that there is nothing people all over the planet crave more right now than decent employment.
As Mr. Clifton puts it: “Whether you and I were walking down the street in Khartoum, Cairo, Berlin, Lima, Los Angeles, Baghdad, or Istanbul, we would discover that the single most dominant thought on most people’s minds is about having a good job.”
The takeaway of this observation? If I were to string together a few salient thoughts from the initial chapter, which are then examined in detail throughout the rest of the book, it would look something like:
“The coming world war is an all-out global war for good jobs. The demands of leadership have changed. Traditional leadership through politics, military force, religion, or personal values won’t work in the future like it has in the past. The global war for jobs will determine the leader of the free world and if the United States allows China or any country or region to out-enterprise it, out-job-create it, out-grow its GDP, everything changes. This is America’s next war for everything.”
This is strong stuff, my friends. And again, may not make for some uplifting reading for those of you still needing to concentrate on the “micro” side of things. But as much as it may sound like it, The Coming Jobs War isn’t a book simply full of dire predictions. Instead, once the author establishes his premise, he makes some impassioned points about what cities, states, and the U.S. as a whole can do to beat the odds — and maintain our advantage. He talks at length about what the “tribal leaders” in various cities can do to stimulate innovation, or even more importantly, entrepreneurship. And he reminds us that America appeared to be on the ropes 25 years ago, before a brand-new paradigm called the Internet came along that rebooted our entire economy — just as the next revolution may come in the form of customer experience, biotechnology, or some other industry that hasn’t even been invented yet.
So I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions, should you pick up a copy of the book, and will again point out that this material may not be ideal bedside reading for those people who are between jobs at the moment and struggling to stay confident. But if you want to be as informed as possible about what’s going on with the international economic scene — or better yet, you’re a community or organizational leader seeking to help address the challenges we’re facing — this new publication is definitely an important and enlightening read!