Global joblessness in highly educated workforce
All around the globe, in every industry people are losing jobs.
According to Forbes, the latest numbers are as follows: Tripadvisor eliminated 600 roles in the U.S. and Canada and 300 more in other countries, as part of a 25 percent workforce reduction. An undisclosed number were furloughed.
The Montreal-based circus producer Cirque du Soleil will lay off 4,679 people, 95 percent of its staff.
Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel company, said tens of thousands of hotel workers will be furloughed and will lay off a number of those workers.
Airbnb cut 25 percent of its workforce — about 1,900 employees — and is halting projects related to hotels, luxury stays and transportation.
Vehicle sharing platform Bird laid off 30 percent of its workforce, which came to 406 employees out of its workforce of over 1,300.
Event management service Eventbrite laid off half its workforce as events worldwide are canceled.
Yelp laid off or furloughed more than 2,000 workers — a 17 percent staff reduction.
Of course, there is a small number of companies which are benefiting from the excess time spent at home.
According to The Information portal, Peloton, the connected fitness firm, is getting a lift from the pandemic—as is gaming firm Zynga. Peloton’s first quarter revenue rose 66 percent, subscribers jumped 94 percent and it ended the quarter with a backlog of bikes to be delivered.
Zynga, the gaming company, said revenue rose 52 percent in the quarter in what it said was its best-ever first quarter. And while many companies have withdrawn their financial guidance for the year due to the pandemic’s uncertainty, Zynga raised its full-year guidance. It is now projecting a 25 percent increase in revenue for 2020.
If we put these companies aside, what will happen to the thousands of people who are now jobless? Will they be able to lend a job in a few months?
The world was gearing towards automation. We were expecting that blue-collar workers would be replaced by automated systems. We had thought that the biggest challenge of the near future would be to reeducate the blue-collar
Now we also face the problem of finding work to do for the highly skilled workforce as well. How can we tackle that?
Do we create websites like Airbnb for the outgoing alumnae to post their resumes? Do we give incentives for people to start their own businesses? Do we do nothing and claim that the invisible hand of the market will solve this issue?
Joblessness in the highly educated workforce is a new kind of problem that we have to solve.