The New Economy
People Skills Will Matter in Jobs of the Future

A Wall Street Journal report on the explosion of franchises catering to the elderly reminds that opportunities still abound in the U.S. economy for people with the eyes to see them, the guts to take chances, and the willingness to work a little harder than the cubicle class:

One of the hottest trends in franchising these days isn’t sit-down restaurants or real estate. It’s seniors.

Providing home-health aides and other services to older Americans is a fast-growing business, as brands and franchise owners seek to capitalize on an aging U.S. population and low costs of entry.

“There is no way to lose with the demographics we see,” said Claudine Halpern, chief operating officer of My Elder Advocate LLC, a recent entry into franchising. “All of us are planning on living until 100.”

One important feature of many of the emerging job areas is that they are more human—you get paid based on your ability to relate to and work with other people, rather than performing repetitive actions on an assembly line or shoveling earth. No matter how quickly automation proceeds, there will always be a demand for services delivered by real human beings. People skills are going to matter more in the future.

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