I have a friend who is 84-years old and has basically lost the ability to walk without using a wheelchair or two canes. So, right now he’s a resident of a nursing home which does physical therapy with the hope that maybe his muscles will wake up again.
Meanwhile, his brain is functioning as well as it every functioned and he has full use of his fingers and hands. So, given today’s report on the employment situation, I’m going to tell him to go online and look for a job.
I notice that many job advertisements now have a category called ‘remote.’ In the olden days, jobs were divided between men and women but that’s no longer politically correct and in some instances even illegal, so it’s been replaced by on-site work i=or ‘work from home.’
And what this reflects is the fact that not only does everyone have a laptop at home, but just about everyone has a high-speed digital connection, so apps like Zoom or Buzzfeed work just fine. Moreover, the only parts of the country which still don’t have broadband service are places where the people are outnumbered by the cows.
Don’t want instant digital connections to the entire world? Move to Box Elder, Montana, which used to have around 800 residents but roughly 90 people live there now. The Chippewa-Cree Nation has their tribal headquarters located in Bix Elder, but most of the members of the tribe who are still around live either across the border in Canada or on a reservation located a few miles to the West.
Meanwhile, the reason why my friend in the nursing home can get a job which someone in Box Elder probably can’t get is not just a question of technology and where the Digital Superhighway goes and doesn’t go. It’s also because the government has just released the November employment report and the unemployment rate is down to 3.7%.
When I drive down to the office where I write, I pass by 10 or 11 small manufacturing companies which are subcontractors to the big companies and judging from the number of cars in the employee parking lot, each of these outfits has a workforce of between 30 and 100 folks. Where I live, which is western Massachusetts outside of Springfield, has always been known as an area whose economy is largely based on small, manufacturing plants which…