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Salaried workers beware


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https://www.apnews.com/ffa0fd2ace934f31bb1beaeb4bf314ee

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It was a humbling warning that in this era of rapid and disruptive technological change, those with a college education are not necessarily insulated from the kind of layoffs factory workers know all too well.

 

The cutbacks reflect a transformation underway in both the auto industry and the broader U.S. economy, with nearly every type of business becoming oriented toward computers, software and automation.

 

“This is a big mega-trend pervading the whole economy,” said Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has researched changes being caused by the digital age.

 

Cities that suffered manufacturing job losses decades ago are now grappling with the problem of fewer opportunities for white-collar employees such as managers, lawyers, bankers and accountants. Since 2008, The Associated Press found, roughly a third of major U.S. metro areas have lost a greater percentage of white-collar jobs than blue-collar jobs. It’s a phenomenon seen in such places as Wichita, Kansas, with its downsized aircraft industry, and towns in Wisconsin that have lost auto, industrial machinery or furniture-making jobs.

 

In GM’s case, the jobs that will be shed through buyouts and layoffs are held largely by people who are experts in the internal combustion engine — mechanical engineers and others who spent their careers working on fuel injectors, transmissions, exhaust systems and other components that won’t be needed for the electric cars that eventually will drive themselves. GM, the nation’s largest automaker, says those vehicles are its future.

 

“We’re talking about high-skilled people who have made a substantial investment in their education,” said Marina Whitman, a retired professor of business and public policy at the University of Michigan and a former GM chief economist. “The transitions can be extremely painful for a subset of people.”

 

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55 should be retirement age anyways, maybe not full on sit around and do nothing retirement, but just time to do something else, my experience with people at or above 55 is basically everything they learned over the years is useless now, and they're just waiting to hit 62 or 65 for medicare, depending on their health.

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