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The Disappearing American Working Man, The Lost Generation, and Hurricane Irene!

Business Week’s reference to the “Disappearing American Working Man” and “The Lost Generation” made us look into trends that are coming to light because of the economic turmoil in the last few years. With economic news see-sawing in the last month, we finally saw a glimmer of hope as the Dow and the S&P gained more than 4% and Nasdaq rose 5.7% this past week, breaking the four-week losing trend!

So, what is all this talk of the Disappearing American Working Man and the Lost Generation? It turns out that with the job recovery being so slow and more women entering the workforce, data-driven jobs that require collaborative work are now being taken over by educated women that can flex their brain cells more than they can flex their muscles. That’s not necessarily bad news, because women have been  entering the workforce in greater numbers during this recessive period to help feed their families. The main challenge here is that the longer men stay unemployed, the harder it is on their morale and the more difficult it is for them to get reabsorbed back into the work force.

Meanwhile, the younger generation is taking a hit as well. Bloomberg Businessweek recently referred to them as the ‘lost generation’. It is hardest for young people entering the workforce, wet-behind-the-years with inexperience to grab a hold of even the first rung of the ladder. In a situation where the older workforce with past education and experience has been struggling to get back into the work force, the younger more inexperienced workforce has been hit the hardest; and this, in spite of their recent education, their fresh ideas and youthful energy and spirit.

Colleges and schools are now pumping more students into the workforce as the demand for education grows every decade. But unfortunately, the workforce is not able to place or accommodate all these youngsters in the current economic situation. The government needs to up the ante on its job plans, and as Ben Bernanke put it to Congress, not to ‘mess up again’ especially while the stock market seems to have gained a few points now.

So while we (along with fearful insurance companies) brace ourselves for Hurricane Irene, let’s do our part in minimizing the impact of these disasters, both natural and man-made. For starters, let’s get those skilled and unemployed folks back into the work force. Let’s hire some young interns so we can get more work done for less, while they can put work experience on their resumes. They need jobs and companies like Bluff Manufacturing need skilled workers and talented individuals. When Bluff Manufacturing added mezzanines, landings, stairs, ladders, and a whole host of other material handling products to its product line right in the middle of the economic crisis, we knew we would be taking on a lot. But it was all well worth the effort. Not only did we offer Bluff-quality products to our customers to increase their plant efficiency, optimize their work-space, and improve their safety measures, we were able to absorb a new workforce that came with this line and create new opportunities for more folks to come work at Bluff.

As for our friends out there on the East Coast, we are glad Irene turned her softer side your way. Just like our mezzanines, ladders, and stairs were built to take workers to higher grounds securely, we wish you stay high and dry above the water.