Links of Note 8/24/16

The Hidden Costs of Low Literacy in Australia [SBS News]
Nicely organized explainer with compelling personal stories.

Rauner Signs Juvenile Justice Reform bills [Chicago Tribune]
Governor Rauner said the legislation was just one step in a larger effort that should address, among other things, the “lack of job skills” among the prison population in Illinois.

Coding Boot Camps Attract Tech Companies [Wall Street Journal]
“The Flatiron School’s 12-week course costs $15,000, but earns students no degree and no certificate (my emphasis). What it does get them, at an overwhelming rate, is a well-paying job.”

Here’s Proof That the Economic Recovery Is Over [CNBC]
What I thought was interesting here is the notion that despite the generally good news regarding employment, there is evidence to suggest that many of these jobs are not “quality jobs.”

“If the employment condition is booming why are payroll taxes falling?

There are a couple of answers to that question and neither is favorable. The BLS numbers are either wrong or the quality of new jobs created must be very poor. The latter response seems the most credible; a combination of an increase in the proportion of part-time workers and full-time jobs that provide lower compensation.”

This Helpful Chart Reveals if a Robot Is Coming For Your Job [Business Insider]
McKinsey report that purports to predict the likelihood of jobs becoming automated by analyzing work activities rather than occupations. Interesting that such human qualities as patience, empathy, and kindness aren’t on their list. Work that involves caring for others, such as caring for the elderly, sick, children etc. is an area of employment that is growing and where future needs will be great. I can’t imagine these jobs being done very well without empathetic, human interaction, even if technologies are used to assist.

I welcome your suggestions.

Australia Looks to Import Skilled Workers from U.S. to Fill Vacancies in Skilled Labor

According to the The Information Daily, Australia believes there are enough skilled workers in the U.S. to fill vacancies in their booming mining and gas industries:

Chris Evans, minister for Skills, Science and Research, expects the demand for skilled construction workers to peak over the next three to five years and said his government was looking towards the US to fill the gaps.

To do that, Australia is considering a change to their immigration policy which will enable U.S. workers in licensed occupations, such as electricians and plumbers, to have their skills assessed before they arrive for work in Australia. Under the current system, these workers are required to have their skills assessed when they arrive—a process that often takes several months.

The Daily adds, “[t]he announcement will come as a welcome relief to the US, with high unemployment rates at 8.3% despite some recent improvements.”

American industries report that they are unable to find skilled workers to fill vacancies for skilled labor here in the U.S., yet Australian government officials are so confident that skilled labor is abundant here that they are adopting policies to encourage those workers to emigrate half-way around the world for a job.