3 Brief Updates Recent Blog Articles – Part One

Three updates to our recent blog articles are on the following topics: Flexible Work Schedules, Is College Worth it? And Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Flexible Work Schedules.

In June of last year (2023) we wrote an article titled “Flexible Work Schedules and the Staffing Industry” where we noted significant surveys of workers (Forbes and Havard Business Review) that indicated the high priority workers were giving to flexibility in working hours.

We also referred to an article in SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) that strongly supported flexibility.

We also noted that the staffing Industry was structurally suited to delivering flexibility for full and part-time work and had been doing this throughout their history.

Update:

One year later this popular and growing trend is now being reported by the World Employment Confederation as “non-negotiable”. Their survey found that 83% of senior executives “recognize the need to build awareness of the diverse types of labor contracts available today, enabling individuals to choose what suits them best.” The participants were 680 executives from Forbes Global 2000 and 35 from public service organizations.

     2.)  Is College Worth it?

This past January “2024” we published a blog article titled: “Trend: Dropping the College Degree Requirement.” In that article it was reported than many companies (55%) had, in 2023,  dropped the college degree requirement for some of their job titles and that another 45% of companies would be doing the same in 2024.

Our article noted that this was good news for many students who were having problems with the rising cost of getting that degree and have been quite concerned about the resulting indebtedness. We also noted that many entry level jobs in other fields had starting pay on a par with college graduates.

Update

The Pew Research Center published their survey results just this past May (2024) that found that only one in four U.S. adults thought that a 4-year college education was extremely important, or very important, to get a “well-paying job”. That is virtually the same number (22%) that they reported who believed that the cost of getting that 4-year college degree is worth it, even if you have to take out a loan.

As if to show who might have the better argument, they also reported the actual pay differences between those with a college degree and those with just a high school education.

The college degree people in 1970 had about a $10 thousand higher salary, and in 2020 the college graduates had a salary that was $33,000 higher than the high school graduate. So, the bottom line seems to be that having a college degree is much better income-wise than the high school graduate.

Our previous article (January 2024 cited above) reported 50% of companies dropping the requirements for a 4-year college degree, for some positions,  for entry level hiring in 2023 and projected another 45% of companies (also “for some positions) doing the same 2024. This may be welcome news, however, we have yet to see what the difference in pay will be with these new hires without the 4-year degree and those with it.

     3.) Artificial Intelligence (AI)

On April 16, 2022 we published a blog article titled “Artificial Intelligence (AI) – The Promise and the Problem”. We discussed the promises of AI, which are many, but also the problems. And sometimes the promises are also, from a different perspective, a large part of the problem. See below for two very interesting updates, from the “Promise” side, and then the huge “elephant in the room” also from the “problem” side

Update

The company Veritone AI Solutions as reported in SIA’s Daily News for May 31, 2024, is that the pay range for the 50 highest paying AI jobs is between $312,000 and $680,000. Additionally.  In April 2024 there were over 14,000 job openings in AI. Pretty good news! However . . ..  .

On the topic of the “Problem” with AI, the most outrageous comes from a person who is a problem in his own right, i.e., Elon Musk. According to a CNN online Business News report, Mr. Musk spoke remotely via Webcam at the Vivatech 2024 conference in Paris where he opined that “Probably none of us will have a job” because of AI. Really?

Musk is good at making comments that grab headlines and we are taking the bait here. But one has only to think of a complex construction job creating a new intersection with road rerouting, elevations changed, telephone lines and poles repositioned, complex drainage issues etc., etc., to know that his statement is not true.

Software can lay it out but cannot do it. But the concern over jobs is a serious one that could be fixed if we were politically open to it.

Elon Musk is not completely wrong about the seriousness of the employment issue. Others have spoken in far less fantastic terms, but with details that are troubling.

In our own Staffing Industry, for example, The Adecco Group polled  2,000 business leaders worldwide and found that 41% of them believe they will be hiring fewer people in the next five years because of AI. Not great news but a whole lot better than the Elon Musk opinion.

As Always Stay Safe (You and your Company!)