Technological advances threaten the future of many jobs in the United States, and Latinos, along with African Americans, are among those most concerned with preparing for change, according to a survey of 2,000 workers and published this Wednesday.
“It is clear that our changing economy and world will have a disproportionate effect on workers of color,” said Spencer Overton, president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which analyzed the data.
At this time, he said, 27% of African-American and Latino workers are concentrated in professions that are at high risk for automation, such as food services, retail, security or drivers, including taxi drivers and truck drivers.
For this reason, their future perspectives are critical, and they should be prepared to integrate a completely different workforce, he added in the presentation of the study.
According to the analysis of the survey on differences in racial identity in the future of work, people of color have great interest in education and training to avoid being displaced from their jobs.
Asians, African Americans and Latinos show agreater interest than white workers in finishing high school, obtaining university diplomas, attending community colleges that offer short careers, or vocational schools.
Support for these options is 85% among African Americans, 78% among Asians, 75% Latinos and 70% White.
In particular, they support the Government preparing workers for change, with free community colleges, and for companies to do more in terms of training, because the biggest obstacle to acquiring knowledge is economic.
On how to prepare children for the economy of the future, African-American, Latino and Asian workers prioritize computer education in schools, and that less attention be paid to the teaching of trades.
Support for compulsory computer science education was 25% among African Americans, 24 among Asians, 23% among Latinos and 16% for non-Hispanic whites.
In contrast, African Americans and whites give more priority to math and science education than Asians and Latinos.
These differences of opinion, according to Overton, may represent “a fear that many African-American workers have of being removed from academic subjects and pigeonholed in tasks where they use their hands.”
Overton stressed that communities of color have a special interest in the conversation about the future of work, because in the next two or three decades they will be half of the population of the United States.
“In the same period, two thirds of all jobs will require some education beyond the high school diploma,” he added.