Jobs: Most Work Can’t Be Outsourced


There is a limit to the loss of American jobs to foreign workers, and no matter what happens overseas, most U.S. employment will remain local, because it cannot be outsourced.

PUBLIC SECTOR: Towns, villages, cities, and counties will always provide local jobs. Mayors, aldermen, board members and administrators will remain. Judges, lawyers, policemen, and court reporters are not going anywhere. Someone will continue picking up the garbage. Although UPS, Fed Ex, and the Internet have cut into postal work, mail carriers keep on walking. Airports will always be local. Highway maintenance crews have no end to work, including winter snow removal. Building inspectors are needed. Libraries will survive, despite online research. Schools will stay open, as learning is essential. School buses will run. Universities will grow. Those fit for the military will find work.

UTILITIES: U.S. energy and utility companies will continue to employ people. The gas co., electric co., and water and sewer facilities will all remain. The telephone co. will survive.

COMMUNICATIONS: Cable TV and Internet lines will be laid. Satellite TV services and equipment will be sold. Cell phones will erect local towers. Internet services will grow. Computers will be sold here. Businesses will need printing, copy and FAX machines. Newspapers will publish. Radio is not going anywhere. Billboard will be posted, as local advertisers write ads for local businesses.

NATURAL RESOURCES: Forests will be harvested, logs will be sent to sawmills, and lumber will be cut. Metals will be removed from the ground, as coal mining continues. Sand and gravel will be dug. Oil and gas will be pumped to be sent to refineries.

AGRICULTURE: If farm subsidies continue, the U.S. will keep an agricultural sector. Dairy equipment, tractors, and farm supplies will be sold. Seed and fertilizers will be needed. Irrigation equipment will be used. Grain elevators will be built. Orchards will bear fruit. Animals will be fed, and inseminated, as veterinarians will be consulted. Livestock markets will stay open. Food processers will continue shipping products to groceries.

FINANCE: Banks and savings and loans will lend money. Real estate agents will sell land, giving appraisers, surveyors, and title companies things to do. Credit Unions will remain. Credit reporting agencies will continue their work. Financial services and investment advisors will have customers. There will always be work for bookkeepers, accountants, and auditors. Tax returns will be prepared. Businesses will bill accounts receivable, and prepare payrolls. Pension and profit sharing work will be done. Collection agents will never be outsourced. Credit counselors and debt adjusters will be needed. Wealthy people will use estate planning, stock brokers, and trust companies. Actuaries will work in the insurance industry, which will continue selling all sorts of protection against risk. Insurance adjusters will remain busy.

CONSTRUCTION: The construction of apartments, condos, storage units, buildings, and homes will never be exported. Developers and building contractors will have work. Architects and engineers will be on-site. Environmental consulting will be local. Sewer contractors will lay pipe, as road builders put down asphalt. Excavators with bulldozers will clear land. Warehouses will be needed for building materials. Well-drillers will dig wells. Scaffolds will be erected. Cement trucks will be used. Carpenters, bricklayers, and roofers will work on-site. Insulation, rain-gutters, and siding will be installed. Subcontracting for heat, electric and plumbing will always be local. Painters will be hired. Windows, doors and elevators will be installed. Someone will put up wallpaper. Carpet layers will be called. Cabinet makers will sell cabinets and counter tops. Garage doors, fences, decks and swimming pools will be installed, along with furnaces, air-conditioning units, water heaters and fireplaces. Blinds, draperies and curtains will be hung. Office cleaners will have work.

HOUSEHOLD GOODS: Furniture and beds will be sold. Antique dealers will have customers. Appliance dealers will stock refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, and dryers. Hardware stores will carry lawn mowers and tools. Electronics outlets will sell TVs and radios.

TRANSPORTATION: Air cargo will move freight. Aircraft maintenance will be essential. Freight trains, trucks, and trailers will haul goods from the coasts to the interior. Autos, motorcycles and bikes will be sold. Vehicle dealers and leasing offices will be needed, as well as towing and repair shops. Brakes, mufflers, transmissions, windshields and tires will be sold. Gas stations and car washes will remain. We will always have auto salvage yards.

TRAVEL: Private planes will be chartered. Commercial airlines will continue their daily schedules. Ground transport, buses, and cabs will be used. Passenger trains will roll. Hotels, motels, and resorts will fill up. Sightseeing tours will be sold.

FOOD & DRINK: Grocery stores will remain. Convenience and drug stores will thrive. Beverages will be bottled. Fast-food restaurants will be visited more than ever. Bakeries will bake. Butchers will cut the meat. Someone will make pizzas. Caterers will have places to go, and wedding receptions will be held in banquet halls. Liquor stores and taverns will sell beer from our breweries and wines from our vineyards.

APPAREL & BEAUTY: Beauty salons will never close down. Cosmetics supplies will be marketed. Barbers will always be needed. Bridal shops and tuxedo rentals will have work. Jewelers will sell diamonds and watches. Shopping centers will carry shoes and clothing for men and women. Tailors and dry cleaners will remain busy. Photographers will take their pictures.

HEALTH CARE: Ambulances will transport the injured. Hospitals and health care clinics will thrive. Physicians and nurses will see patients, along with therapists and rehab providers. Wheelchairs and prosthetic devices will be used. Psychologists and psychotherapists will deliver mental health. Pharmaceuticals will invent drugs, while pharmacies will dispense them. Nutritionists will be needed now more than ever. Audiologists will prescribe hearing aids, as opticians and optometrists market glasses and contacts. Dentists and orthodontists will keep on drilling, as podiatrists remain on their feet. Women will get breast implants, while birth control and abortion providers will provide counseling. Someone will test and treat for alcohol and drugs. Others will deal with gamblers. Someone will take care of Alzheimer’s patients. There will be jobs at assisted living facilities and retirement homes. Someone will sell caskets, cremation services, and cemetery plots. Embalmers and funeral directors will always have work.

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS: Casinos will continue winning. Cruises tickets will be sold. Gift and hobby shops will have things to sell. Theatres will survive, despite home-viewing. Massage therapists will find customers. Women will visit tanning salons. Bands and musicians will keep playing. Stereo equipment will be sold. Athletic and sporting goods will be purchased. Boats and marinas will be available for fishing and recreation. Families will drive recreational vehicles to camp grounds. Golf courses and driving ranges will remain. Fitness centers will have members. Hunters will buy their guns. People will join churches, and will seek the clergy. Kennels and pet shops will have customers.

So while manufacturing has left America, and goods are now made in Asia, the U.S. will always have jobs in the public sector, utilities, communications, natural resources, agriculture, finance, construction, household appliances and goods, transportation, travel, food and drink, apparel and beauty, health care, entertainment, and sports. The real question is not whether there will be jobs, but rather: will they pay a living wage?

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