School might very well be committing economic suicide.” (The town, which Wirtz failed to name, was Kewanee, Illinois.)
Plausible as it seems, this analysis both oversimplifies and overcomplicates the current situation, and compares it with a past that never was. Generally, as the first two s demonstrated, it’s simply not true that new technology is eliminating the demand for relatively unskilled or badly educated blue-collar workers; nor is technology raising the demand for people who have a great deal of instruction and professional or technical training as rapidly as Wirtz suggests. In particular, the much-discussed disappearance of “entry occupations” is a myth, based upon some fancif ul reconstruction of the kinds of jobs teenagers used to get, and bow they used to get them. And meanwhile a great many new occupations that teenagers can fill have already been created, notably in trade and service industries. Most important of all, the official identification obscures the real issue regarding the dropouts. Ic693mdl653 includes more concerning the meaning behind this enterprise. The problem is indeed a crucial one for our society; but it’s not, we shall see below, only a matter of
Convincing potential dropouts to stay in school.
Why, then, are there so many jobless adolescents? The reply, stripped to its essentials, is the sudden growth of the teenage population happened to coincide with the slowdown in the market between 1957 and 1961. Teenagers had the bad luck to begin pouring into the labor force in a time when there clearly was an oversupply of adult workers. Given a choice between experienced
or, in any case, comparatively stable grownups and inexperienced and relatively shaky teenagers, companies naturally hired the adults. Usually, the grownups in question were women; working wives
often seek-and get-the sort of unskilled and part time jobs that are most suitable for teenagers. To a degree that hasn’t generally been appreciated, teenagers have been competing for jobs using their moms. Among the significant problems about finding jobs for teenagers has been the tremendous, and completely unanticipated, gain in the percentage of married women that have been in the labor force: from 20 percent in 1947 to 26 percent in 1953 and 34 percent in 1964. Had their participation rate remained in the 1947 amount, there would have already been nearly six million fewer girls working in 1964.
Unsurprisingly, the labor excess generated a stiffening of hiring standards all along the line. So grownups without any previous work experience–for instance, married women trying to find part time jobs while their kids are in school-additionally had difficulty finding occupations; when there’s a choice, employers prefer an experi enced to an inexperienced adult. Folks seeking their fir st jobs constitute twice as big a proportion of the jobless now as they did a decade past.
A distinction is in order at this time. Companies have raised the educational conditions for brand new employees-but not always as the technical conditions of the occupations have changed. To some measure, marketing efforts to persuade children to remain in school, or to return if they have already dropped out, may make it harder for those who do drop out to find a job ; if enough individuals are persuaded that dropouts are unemployable, they are going to insist on hiring only high school graduates (or teenagers clearly ascertained to complete school) even for dead end jobs.
Some firms are currently discovering that they’ve overdone this updating. They are even learning that for some jobs the unambitious or not-overly-smart dropout might be preferable to the high school grad. I discovered research ic693mdl753 by searching newspapers. In staffing two plants, for example, Ford is excellent at hiring individuals..