You can’t have one without the other

Economies can be basically broken down into two parts – production and consumption.  Already the American economy is about 70% consumption and 30% production and most economists and economic developers think there needs to be more production (this is in the generic sense of the word – for example production is writing software – consumption is using it). 

Now, with that in mind take a look at this list of 23 occupations that are expected to keep declining – significantly until 2018.  Of course these lists are not directly comparable but for a thought exercise it is interesting.  Most of the decling occupations are related to production (again in that general sense) – oil and gas labourers, electronics assemblers, machine operators, etc. and most of the growth sectors are primarily consumption – restaurants, retail, health care, etc.

I think economies – even provincial economies like New Brunswick – need a balance of production and consumption and when we lose the production side of things we end of driving down consumption.

I’ll make a prediction that both oil and gas extraction and manufacturing will be making a comeback in the U.S. and probably Canada as well.

Occupations expected to decline

Postal service workers — 12% decline by 2018
Switchboard operators — 12% decline by 2018
Oil & gas unskilled laborers — 13% decline by 2018
Inventory and recordkeepers — 13% decline by 2018
Correspondence clerks — 14% decline by 2018
Electronics assemblers — 15% decline by 2018
Machine operators — 15% decline by 2018
Miscellaneous plant and system operators — 15% decline by 2018
Photo processors and machine operators — 16% decline by 2018
Machine parts manufacturers — 17% decline by 2018
Computer operators — 19% decline by 2018
Oil & gas derrick operators — 19% decline
Extraction worker helpers — 19% decline by 2018
Bookbinders and bindery workers — 19% decline by 2018
Utilities meter readers –20% decline by 2018
Shoe and leather workers — 21% decline by 2018
Desktop publishers — 23% decline by 2018
File clerks — 23% decline by 2018
Pumping station operators — 25% decline by 2018
Order clerks — 26% decline by 2108
Semiconductor processors — 32% decline by 2018
Sewing machine operators — 34% decline by 2018
Textile machine operators — 39% decline by 2018

And then look at the 10 American Industries That Will Boom In The Next Decade

Full-service restaurants
Local government, excluding education and hospitals
Employment services
Nursing care facilities
Offices of physicians
General merchandise stores
Computer systems design and related services
Home health care services
Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services

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One Response to You can’t have one without the other

  1. sandy mackay says:

    Thought provoking message. It would be interesting to see New Brunswick develop small arts businesses: work on the production side for “creative imports”. That way, artists add value to New Brunswick’s natural resources. New Brunswick-made objects- be it visual art, music or clothing could affect the sustainability of New Brunswick: more production!

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