Eileen is a high-school student from Iowa. She recognizes that the United States work force has changed over the past thirty years. She is unsure about the role of the United States in the global economy, hopes to soon begin working, and one day aspires to be a veterinarian!
Eileen A writes:
“In 1972, there were far more people working in jobs that had to do with manufacturing. Now the category of jobs that has the highest percentage is the government jobs. Categories of jobs that involved making things or doing hard physical work seem to have decreased in percentage since 1972.
The number of office-type jobs seems to have increased overall. I think that as ideals and trends changed over the years, so did the interest in different categories of jobs. There will always be more jobs in a certain area of employment that is popular. Nowadays, it seems that restaurants and leisure activities have gotten more popular. It makes sense that employers in that category would want more workers to go along with the demand.
I think the change in the percentages of jobs has occurred because we have less demand for manufacturing jobs. Since we’re now so dependent on imports from China and other foreign countries, we have less of a mind to make our own products. Why make our own when we can import it from other countries for a fraction of a price?
Now, I don’t like the fact that we import so much from other countries. I really think we should try to make as much as we can in our own country. People now take pride in seeing a “Made in the USA” sticker. Like I said in my previous paragraph, I also think jobs have changed in accordance with the demand for certain products and services.
I currently have no job, but as soon as our school play ends in November, I plan to find one somewhere. I’ll most likely try to find a simple job such as working at a grocery store or waitressing. My mom works as our high school librarian. Since she works in the same school that I attend, I get to see her everyday. I really like that I’m able to see her that much. My dad is self-employed. He sells furniture that he makes and that he repairs. He also does a lot of carpentry work.
I would really love to become a veterinarian. It’s been my career of choice for years. That particular job would fall under Education and Health Services on the chart. This category has gone way up in the percentage of jobs since 1972. I think it would be a very good field to be invested in. Even though I’m set on being a vet, my dream job would be becoming a singer. I really love performing for people. This would fall under “Leisure + Hospitality”.
Honestly, I’m not sure which candidate would do a better job of creating jobs. When the new President is elected, I just want him or her to solve the problem of millions of people without jobs.”
Eileen’s PenPal is Jenni, a highschool student from Maryland. Jenni acknowledges many of the same trends seen by Eileen. She is concerned about the loss of many manufacturing jobs in the United States and hopes that by pursuing international relations and foreign languages in school, she will be well prepared for her future.
Jenni K writes:
“It seems that the amount of people in manufacturing has decreased dramatically. Meanwhile, Leisure and Hospitality and Professional and Business Services have both increased a lot. It seems like a lot more jobs have to do with providing services for other people, working in government/education or retail/leisure services.
I think that the change in the type of jobs we do is because we don’t need as many people to manufacture things now since it is cheaper to import products that are manufactured overseas. However the areas of jobs that have to be done in this country, such as government, retail, and leisure, have risen, because there are no cheaper alternatives that people would pay to see. For example, people wouldn’t watch television shows that were made in another country, so it isn’t cheaper to import; entertainment from overseas the way it is to import computers or cell phones. However, I think this a problem because eventually we will run out of the demand for more non-manufacturing jobs, so it is important to encourage things manufactured sustainably and in the U.S. as well.
I have a summer job at a camp run by another school near my school. I work as a counselor for 6 weeks during the summer. My mother is an elementary school teacher who used to work at my school, but she is currently unemployed because she lost her job due to low enrollment. She hasn’t been able to find another one for the same reason. My father works at a department store in the alterations department. He is an administrator which means he puts all of the information about the alterations into the computer.
I am interested in pursuing a career in international relations or foreign languages. I would really love to live abroad or work as a translator something like that. That could either fall under government, if I decide to pursue a career in international relationships.
I agree that we will run out of demand for non-manufacturing jobs. Although it all depends on what is favored in people’s minds. In the future, there may be an added emphasis on manufacturing jobs. I think that would help our country a lot.
I think it would be good to have more manufacturing jobs, especially if they were focusing on using green technology/making things sustainably etc. because then people would be more likely to want to do them and also because it would be good to have more products manufactured sustainably.”