The ins and outs of keeping US service jobs at work
Author(s)Gorney, Eric D
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.
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The purpose of this research is to discuss employment in the United States (US) service sector. The main concern is not pinpointing numerical estimates, but instead identifying trends which lead to job growth or job loss. Like manufacturing jobs that have been lost to offshore locations or productivity gains, so too are service jobs at risk. Offshoring - the outsourcing of business functions overseas - and automation have the same effect of displacing workers. What keeps a service job in the US and what makes it ideal to ship overseas or replace with a computer? Consumers have several choices between different product and service offerings. And, different products need varied levels of aftermarket service. What makes customers go out and spend money rather than completing tasks themselves? This thesis attacks these questions by outlining characteristics of products, services, and consumers which could help label jobs as "safe" or "at-risk." First is a discussion of these characteristics. Then, the range of product and service alternatives that consumers have to choose from is presented and applied to examples.(cont.) Overall, jobs which may be at-risk are those occupations that can be offshored, automated, or easily performed by consumers themselves. On the other hand, jobs that may prove safer are those with high barriers to self-service, those that offer a customized service or experience, and those that require physical contact to be performed.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, 2006.Includes bibliographical references (p. 93-94).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering Systems Division.