The future of mobility promises to transform the way people and goods move about, as shared and autonomous vehicles could offer the opportunity for faster, cleaner, cheaper, and safer transportation. Accompanying those potential changes could be dramatic shifts in the workforce. When transportation modes are profoundly changed, what are the implications for the almost 7 million US auto workers and nearly 4 million professional drivers? How might the future of mobility affect the numerous ancillary jobs that largely hinge on how transportation is provisioned, such as warehouse workers and public works employees? As mobility is expected to increasingly shift from being product-centered to being service-centered, and data could play an ever-greater role, how can companies and governments prepare and adapt their workforces to meet those potentially changing demands?
This article explores how the future of mobility could impact companies’ talent needs and the broader workforce. It begins by examining the social and technological shifts that seem to be leading to a new mobility ecosystem. It then identifies the overarching trends that are likely to impact labor across the mobility landscape. Finally, the article looks at a handful of specific sectors—automotive, trucking, and eldercare— to provide a glimpse at how these trends might play out in different contexts. The aim is to examine which jobs are likely to be most affected, what new opportunities could arise and what skills would be needed to realize them, and how organizations can prepare themselves and their people for both the future of mobility and the future of work.
The U.S. economy drummed up another solid month of job creation in November, as employers across the country generated 190,000 new jobs, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.
November’s job total dipped slightly from October’s 235,000, though that was to be expected with October considered an overcorrection after hurricanes walloped the southern U.S. in August and September.
“Hard to find any problems in the job market,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told reporters during a conference call on Wednesday. “Let’s enjoy it. The numbers are good. The job market is rip-roaring.”
Service-providing outfits tacked on 155,000 additions last month, with 31,000 gains going to health care and social assistance professions and another 47,000 to professional and business services.
Goods producers, meanwhile, accounted for 36,000 gains on net. The manufacturing industry actually managed 40,000 additions, but those gains were offset by a loss of 4,000 construction jobs and a stagnant natural resources and mining sector.
“The only soft spot was construction, but that is probably just some volatility related to the effects of the hurricanes.,” Zandi said. “Manufacturing was very robust. It has been a solid contributor to job growth now for the past almost 18 months. That goes to good activity in the vehicle industry. … It also goes to trade – global trade in the global economy.”
Per ADP’s data, employers have generated at least 190,000 new jobs in 10 of the past 12 months. With an underlying rate of monthly job growth in the 175,000 to 200,000 range, Zandi noted the economy is “roughly doubl[ing] the rate of job growth necessary to absorb the growth in the labor force.”
What that means going forward, Zandi said, is likely a lower unemployment rate, higher wages and the increased likelihood that individuals currently sitting on the sidelines of the labor market will jump into the fray.
What it also means, however, is that the labor market runs the risk of getting ahead of itself – possibly threatening what is now the economy’s eighth year of economic expansion.
“The one big change that will have implications for the labor market going forward … is now the prospect for tax legislation to become law,” Zandi said. “The prospects of an overheating labor market are now rising. We’re definitely not there yet. It’s premature to say that. But it is a growing risk as we move into next year.”
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, begins the markup process of the GOP’s far-reaching tax overhaul as members propose amendments and changes to shape the first major revamp of the tax system in three decades, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Repeal Zandi couched his warning by predicting the labor market would get “very strong” in the aftermath of the bill’s passage – which to this point is considered likely as lawmakers head to conference to work out differences between companion pieces of legislation in the House and Senate.
But he warned that the Federal Reserve may be forced into raising interest rates more quickly to keep up with the effects of the tax bill. Four rate hikes next year wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility if this bill goes through, Zandi said.
What all of that means could ultimately be good for the economy, but Zandi noted the risks of an overheating environment in the U.S. could start to rise. Ten of the most recent recessions dating back to the 1940s, he said, “have been preceded by an economy that’s overheated.”
In the near term, Zandi had nothing but positive things to say about a labor market that appears to be chugging along comfortably heading into 2018. But the longer-term implications of the country’s progress and the introduction of fiscally stimulative legislation like a tax overhaul raises the possibility that things start to unravel going forward.
The healthcare industry is on the rise, adding positions at a much quicker clip than the average job market and compensating employees with competitive salaries, thanks in part to increased demand from an aging Baby Boomer community.
U.S. News & World Report recently released its 2016 Best Jobs rankings and positions in healthcare dominated the list, earning nine of the top 10 spots. U.S. News determined the best occupations in the country by comparing median salary, employment rate, growth, job prospects, stress level, and work-life balance. (You can read more about the methodology here.)
The site further broke down the rankings by industry, revealing the top positions in healthcare that offer good job prospects, elevated compensation, room for advancement, and opportunities to develop work-life balance. Orthodontist topped the rankings — it earned the No. 1 spot overall as well — followed by dentist and nurse anesthetist.
Read on to learn more about the 20 best jobs in healthcare, with annual average salary data included from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Different from an orthodontist, prosthodontists are dental specialists who build oral prostheses that replace missing teeth. These replacements can help patients in a number of ways, from improving appearances to restoring the ability to speak and eat.
From fitting hearing aids to treating vertigo to assessing balance issues, audiologists are experts on hearing disorders. They work to prevent and treat hearing loss and related issues, as as well as work with patients and their families as they adapt to life with impaired hearing.
17. Occupational therapist
Average salary: $80,000
Projected growth (2014 - 2024): 27%
Similar to physical therapists, occupational therapists help patients learn or re-learn everyday skills such as eating, bathing, or cooking. OTs can work with patients of all backgrounds, treating those with emotional and developmental conditions in addition to physical ones.
During a hospital stay, patients spend more time in contact with nurses than any other medical professional, making them integral to the healthcare sector. Registered nurses track patient care, administer medication, and monitor each patient's condition throughout their stay.
The highest-paid nurses can all be found in California: Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and San Jose are the most lucrative cities for this profession.
Average salary: $190,530
Projected growth (2014 - 2024): 9%
The term 'physician' encompasses everything from primary care doctors to gynecologists to cardiologists to dermatologists — and every niche in between. Income varies based on each doctor's experience and specialty, but the highest-paid physicians work in Florence, South Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; and Medford, Oregon.
Surgeons undertake a heavy job — opening up people's bodies to correct injuries, diseases, or deformities. Surgeons are rigorously trained for the serious nature of the job, however. After completing a bachelor's degree and four years of medical school, they must enter a surgical residency program, which takes a minimum of five years to finish.
Tomas Bravo / Reuters
Average salary: $137,480
Projected growth (2014 - 2024): 14%
Podiatrists specialize in feet and ankles, treating conditions that range from ingrown toenails and bunions to fractures and sprains. It's no easy task to become a podiatrist, however. After completing a bachelor's degree, individuals must attend medical school, complete a three-year residency program, and pass the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Exam.
12. Physical therapist
David Rogers/Getty Images
Average salary: $83,940
Projected growth (2014 - 2024): 34%
Physical therapists work alongside a variety of patients, from athletes with stress fractures to those debilitated by strokes, to improve mobility and strength through physical movements. PTs design personalized plans for each patient that include exercises, stretches, and education about recovery.
Optometrists diagnose and treat visual issues and eye conditions, such as glaucoma, as well as prescribe corrective lenses. To become an optometrist, individuals must complete both a bachelor's degree and a four-year doctor of optometry program.
Both obstetricians and gynecologists help maintain women's reproductive health, though the positions differ. Gynecologists screen for HPV and other STDs, help manage contraceptives, and assist patients with issues like abnormal bleeding. Those who are also obstetricians, often referred to as OB-GYNs, deliver babies and monitor mothers-to-be throughout pregnancy.
It's no surprise that anesthesiologists rake in the highest salaries in the country: They're responsible for administering the drugs that allow surgeons to complete painful, invasive procedures without discomforting patients. The highest-paid anesthesiologists are found in Detroit, Michigan; Wichita, Kansas; and Worcester, Massachusetts.
Pediatricians focus on the physical and mental health of children, from infancy to adolescence. Specialties range from oncology and hematology to developmental behavior and psychiatry, but at the end of the day, it's all about advocating the best course of care and communicating it with both the parents and the patients themselves.
Unlike podiatrists and surgeons, who deal with physical afflictions, psychiatrists tend to patients' mental health. They diagnose and treat complex conditions like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety. Psychiatrists use a combination of methods to treat these disorders and write prescriptions when necessary.
5. Nurse practitioner
Joe Raedle / Getty
Average salary: $97,990
Projected growth (2014 - 2024): 35%
With additional education, registered nurses can become nurse practitioners who are able to take patient histories, perform exams, order labs, and prescribe medication. NPs function almost identically to doctors, but the certification requires less formal education. It's a field on the rise, however, growing at five times the national average.
Physician assistants perform many of the same functions as general practitioners, such as administering injections, assisting with surgery, and diagnosing issues, but they are required to practice under the supervision of a licensed physician or surgeon. The highest-paying cities for this position include Santa Fe, New Mexico; Longview, Texas; and South Bend, Indiana.
Nurse anesthetists help doctors complete painful procedures by administering anesthesia through intravenous drugs or inhaled gases. To become a nurse anesthetist, registered nurses must complete at least one year of critical care experience and earn a master's degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia program.
Dentists help maintain the health of patients' mouths, gums, and teeth by filling cavities, diagnosing oral diseases, and extracting teeth when needed. The highest-paid dentists work in Lafayette, Indiana; Brownsville, Texas; and Wausau, Wisconsin.
Orthodontists are tasked with constructing beautiful smiles by fixing irregular bites and realigning crooked teeth. This is most often done through braces, but they also utilize retainers and other appliances to create an optimized plan for each patient.
AGC announces that 75% of construction firms plan to expand headcount and ABC predicts stable 2018 construction economy
Seventy-five percent of construction firms plan to expand headcount in 2018, contractors are optimistic about strong economy, tax & regulatory cuts
Seventy-five percent of construction firms plan to expand their payrolls in 2018 as contractors are optimistic that economic conditions will remain strong as tax rates and regulatory burdens fall, according to survey results released today by the Associated General Contractors of America and Sage Construction and Real Estate. Despite the general optimism outlined in Expecting Growth to Continue: The 2018 Construction Industry Hiring and Business Outlook, many firms report they remain worried about workforce shortages and infrastructure funding.
“Construction firms appear to be very optimistic about 2018 as they expect demand for all types of construction services to continue to expand,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “This optimism is likely based on current economic conditions, an increasingly business-friendly regulatory environment and expectations the Trump administration will boost infrastructure investments.”
Respondents are very optimistic about demand for all types of construction services as measured by the net positive reading – the percentage of respondents who expect a market segment to expand vs. the percentage who expect a market segment to contract. The net positive reading for all types of construction is 44 percent, the highest yet recorded in the association’s Outlook survey series.
Broken down by market segment, contractors nationwide are most optimistic about the private office market segment, with a 22 percent net positive reading. This is followed by the other transportation and retail, warehouse & lodging segments, both of which had a 21 percent net positive reading. Water & sewer construction had a net positive reading of 20 percent; K-12 construction had a net positive reading of 18 percent and highway and hospitality construction both had a 17 percent net positive reading.
Respondents were only slightly less optimistic about growing demand in other segments. There is a 16 percent net positive for both multifamily residential and public building segments, followed by a 13 percent net positive reading for power construction, an 11 percent net positive for higher education construction and an 8 percent net positive for federal construction.
Association officials noted that 75 percent of firms say they will increase their headcount in 2018, up slightly from 73 percent last year. Most of the hiring will only expand headcounts by a slight percentage per firm, however. Half of firms report their expansion plans will only increase the size of their firm by 10 percent or less. Meanwhile, only five percent of firms report plans to expand their headcount by more than 25 percent above their current size. Only three percent of respondents expect to reduce headcount, down from six percent last year.
Association officials noted that firms in many parts of the country are already adding to their headcounts. According to a new analysis of Labor Department data the association is releasing today, construction employment increased in 255 out of 359 metro areas between November 2016 and November 2017. Among the fastest growing metro areas are Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California; New York City and Cheyenne, Wyoming. Click here for the metro employment figures.
Even as firms expand headcount, an overwhelming majority – 82 percent – of firms expect it will either become harder, or remain difficult to recruit and hire qualified workers in 2018, up from 76 percent last year. In addition, 78 percent of firms report they are currently having a hard time finding qualified workers to hire, up from 73 percent at the start of last year.
Firms continue to take steps to address these growing workforce shortages. Sixty percent of firms report they have increased base pay rates, up from 52 percent last year. Thirty-six percent have provided incentives and/or bonuses, up from 35 percent last year. Twenty-four percent have increased contributions and/or improved employee benefits to cope with workforce shortages. Meanwhile, 56 percent of firms report they plan to increase investments in training and development, up from 52 percent at the start of 2017.
“While workforce issues remain their top concern, many contractors are also worried about competition and the impact of decisions made in Washington on their operations,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. He noted that 39 percent of firms said increased competition for projects was one of their biggest concerns for the year. Meanwhile, 28 percent of firms listed growth in federal regulations as one of their top concerns and 24 percent said one of their concerns was a lack of new infrastructure investments.
Officials with Sage noted that firms appear to be embracing information technology to help address workforce shortages and tight competition. They noted that 50 percent of firms say they currently spend one percent or more of their revenue on information technology, up from 47 percent in 2017. In addition, 43 percent of respondents report they will increase their information technology investments in 2018 compared to the prior year.
They added that information technology can be strategically applied to increase productivity of current staff and compete for more work. They said that helps explain why 52 percent of contractors indicate they currently have formal information technology plans that support business objectives, up from 47 percent last year. An additional eight percent of contractors report they plan to create a formal information technology plan in 2018.
“Increased competition for projects is driving contractors to advance their use of not only building information modeling, but cloud technologies,” said Jon Witty, vice president and general manager for Sage Construction and Real Estate, North America. “This is particularly evident in the use of cloud-based mobile solutions on the job sites, where contractors are using mobile software for daily field reports, field access to customer and job information, employee time tracking and approval and the sharing of drawings, photos and documents.”
Association officials noted that contractors’ overall optimism for 2018 is likely based on two key assumptions: that tax cuts will lead to stronger demand and that the Trump administration will finally deliver on its promise to boost investments in infrastructure. They said that the best thing Washington officials can do to make sure that federal tax cuts deliver on their potential is to continue rolling back needless regulatory burdens.
“The administration must also deliver on its promise to boost investments in infrastructure,” Sandherr said, noting the association has already been working aggressively to push for new investments. “And Congress and the Trump administration need to take steps to address chronic workforce shortages by passing a new Perkins Act and making it easier for local officials to set up construction-focused career and technical education programs.”
Sandherr added that the association would continue to lead efforts to encourage new federal, state and local measures to rebuild the pipeline for recruiting and preparing the next generation of construction professionals. And the association would also remain committed to working with administration officials to help identify regulations that can be improved and others that can be removed.
“In other words, as long as federal officials continue to work to boost infrastructure investments, reduce regulations and support workforce development, 2018 will be a strong year for the construction industry,” Sandherr said.
The Outlook was based on survey results from over 1,000 firms from 49 states and the District of Columbia. Varying numbers responded to each question. Contractors of every size answered over 20 questions about their hiring, workforce, business and information technology plans. Click here for Expecting Growth to Continue: The 2018 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook report. Click here for the survey results.
ABC Chief Economist Predicts Stable 2018 Construction Economy
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu predicts stability for the construction industry’s economy and expanding nonresidential construction spending in 2018. While construction project backlog and contractor confidence remain high heading into the new year, Basu warns there are risks to the 2018 outlook as a number of potential cost increases could come into play.
“With wage pressures building, healthcare costs surging and fuel prices edging higher, inflation is becoming more apparent,” Basu said. “That could translate into some meaningful interest rate increases in 2018, which all things being equal is not good for construction spending. The stock market’s performance has been simply brilliant. But what goes up can go down.”
Basu added that asset prices might head in a different direction in 2018, including commercial real estate prices. Segments like hotels, office buildings and apartments have helped to fuel construction spending in recent years. If the value of properties begins to stagnate or worse, construction spending momentum will eventually wind down. The impact of this may not be felt in 2018, however, but in out years, Basu said.
“For now, there is plentiful momentum,” said Basu. “A recent reading of the Conference Board’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators suggests that the U.S. economy will enter 2018 with substantial momentum. Corporate earnings remain healthy. Global growth is accelerating. Consumers are upbeat. Tax cuts could fuel faster business spending. All of this suggests that the construction recovery that began in earnest in 2011 may have a few more birthdays ahead.”