April Jobs Report Bad News for College Grads

Owner/Waiter Ordering Bakery Shelf
Owner/Waiter Ordering Bakery Shelf

The April jobs report says the economy added 165,000 jobs in April, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Look beneath the top line number and what you see is not good news for college grads.

While the gross number of jobs added was greater than expected, these are the kinds of jobs the economy generated in April:

  • 45,000 waiters, bartenders and hotel maids (accommodation and food services)
  • 8,800 bed pan changers and wheel chair pushers (nursing home and home health care help)
  • 14,800 Walmart greeters (general merchandise store help)

These are the "jobs of the future" awaiting our hungry populace: low-skilled, low wage jobs that do not require a college degree. If the April jobs report is any indicator, the much talked about "skilled jobs of the future" require no skill and have no future.

To be fair, I should note the business service sector added 73,000 jobs in April -- though nearly 31,000 of them are in the "temporary help" category.

Meanwhile, the much-vaunted financial service sector added 9.9 thousand jobs in April -- and fully 8,600 of them were debt collectors (credit intermediation services).

Presumably to dun the college grads who can't pay back their student loans on waiters tips.

As for the information and high tech sector (remember when this was touted as the wave of the future?), it lost 9,000 jobs.

The following two numbers encapsulate exactly what's going on:

In April, America added 29,000 jobs in the retail sector (greeters, stockers and cashiers), but lost 9,000 jobs in the goods-producing sector.

We're losing the better-paying jobs making things and gaining minimum wage jobs in retail. America is becoming a nation of clerks who work for someone else selling goods made somewhere else.

The fact of the matter is, there simply aren't enough jobs to employ our population in marketing, writing copy and making TV commercials to sell products imported from somewhere else.

We need to discard the thoroughly discredited theory of the "post-industrial service economy" and put Americans back to work making -- as well as inventing, designing, marketing and retailing -- the goods we buy.