Surveys Paint Bleak Picture for Job Searchers

By: Garrett Wymer Email
By: Garrett Wymer Email

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- Technology can make business easier, but what does it mean for jobs and people who need those jobs?

A recent survey states that many business owners might put more into their mainframes than their manpower.

If you're looking for work, you know finding a job is a lot harder than just flipping through the classifieds.

"The pace of job growth has been relatively slower," said Dr. Ehsan Ahmed, an economics professor at James Madison University.

Two new surveys show two factors that could impact that growth even more are a raise in the minimum wage and technology.

"It all depends on the pace of changes in the economy, and demands for goods and services," said Ahmed.

One survey shows that nearly 4 of 10 employers plan to lay off workers if Congress raises minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

A separate survey shows nearly 75 percent of small business owners say technology will offer a bigger return on their investment than hiring new employees.

Ahmed believes that computers cannot completely replace workers and down the line there will be jobs with those technologies and the key is for the unemployed to learn those skills.

"Even when companies invest in various types of technologies, eventually you need human capital to use those technologies, to maintain those technologies. So if people are retrained, they have better prospects for getting those jobs. So I'm more optimistic," said Ahmed.

A positive sign is that Virginia's unemployment rate in January was the lowest it has been in more than five years.


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