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An economy that works: Job creation and America’s future

Recoveries are increasingly becoming “jobless” due to firm restructuring, skill and geographic mismatches between workers and jobs, and sharp decline in new start-ups. The US needs to create 21 million new jobs by 2020 to regain full employment—and only achieves this in our most optimistic job-growth scenario. The US workforce will continue to grow until 2020, but under current trends, many workers will not have the right skills for the available jobs. Technology is changing the nature of work: Jobs are being disaggregated into tasks, work is becoming virtual, and firms are relying on flexible labor (temporary, contract workers). These trends offer new opportunities for creating jobs in the United States, a trend that some companies do not fully appreciate. Progress in four dimensions will be essential for reviving the US job-creation machine: Develop the US workforce-skill to better match what employers are looking for; expand US workers’ share of global economic growth by attracting foreign investment and spurring exports; revive the nation’s spark by supporting emerging industries, ensuring more of them scale up in the United States, and reviving new business start-ups; and speed up regulatory decision-making that blocks business expansion and new investment.