Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Employment Ups and Downs: High-Tech Industry and Workers in Blue-Collar Jobs

Today we're sharing a pair of stories from The Oregonian. The first article brings rosy news about Oregon's high-tech industry. The Oregonian reports that software employment is posting double-digit employment growth, while the rest of the state's economy has more modest post-recession growth. In addition, tech workers now earn 12 percent of all wages paid in Oregon, which is comparable to the share of all wages paid by the wood products industry in its heyday in the 1970s.

The second article strikes a far less optimistic tone: blue-collar workers in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere are concerned about their ability to retire. The share of the workforce ages 55 and older was 12.4 percent in 1998, 18.1 percent in 2008, and is expected to be nearly 25 percent by 2018. This is due to the aging population and continued workforce participation by Baby Boomers. For various reasons cited throughout the full article, many workers lack adequate retirement savings.

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