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The service economy The service economy
by Joseph Gatt
2019-02-11 09:37:51
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“Our jobs all went to China!” “Immigrants are stealing our jobs!” “There are no more quality jobs!” I've read dozens of books on the economy, yet no one book had addressed the shift of the economy to the service sector, thus the shift of jobs to service sector jobs.

sercv01_400In today's economy, you're probably going to struggle if you look for a job at the government or in some industrial complex. Most governments have slashed their budgets to the minimum, meaning pay tends to be dismal, hiring procedures tend to be complicated, and you tend to be overworked and underpaid when you work for the government. Industry has benefited from technological advances and moving to countries where production is a lot cheaper, meaning they are probably not hiring in your country if you're reading this. What's left are service sector jobs.

What is a service sector job? You have food services; Entertainment services. Information services. Security services. Financial services. Educational services. Business services. Health services. Beauty and fashion services. Sports and recreation services. Travel services. Transportation services. Telecommunication services. Accommodation services. The list goes on and on.

The service economy boom further exacerbates the fact that there are no more jobs in industry and in the government. Industry outsources to countries where production is cheap and land is cheap, has machines that make production a lot faster, and outsources its jobs to the service industry. That is instead of hiring someone to take care of buyer searching, distribution or marketing, they will outsource to individuals or firms who specialize in buyer searching, distribution or marketing.

Same goes for the government. First a lot of governments have privatized whatever state-owned companies they had. The government also provides minimalist services when it comes to health, transportation, communication, finance, construction, labor or commerce and trade. In the old days the government owned the post office, owned several banks, owned several construction firms, had strict labor and communication regulations, had a monopoly on construction and in many cases transportation. In many cases those areas have been taken over by the private sector. What's left of the government is education (private education is gaining ground) along with issuing currency (the private sector is also gaining ground) and security and defense (private security contractors are gaining ground). For the rest, when needed, the government gets help from the private service sector.

We have not psychologically adapted to this shift to the service economy though. When many kids tell their parents they will work in the service sector, set up some kind of service business, a lot of parents get worried sick. And for good reason. A lot of times it's better if kids get some form of experience working for a company before they launch their own service. But companies are just not hiring!

The service sector also lacks clear regulations and the law often does not clearly define what happens if, for example, a service is not delivered or not properly delivered. Furthermore a lot of services are under the table either for tax evasion purposes or because the government tends to have archaic regulations when it comes to setting up businesses. Another factor is security, and the lack of security regulations revolving around the service industry.

The service industry is not just coffee shops, restaurants and barber shops. It's a lot more than that. It's custom-made wedding dresses, language teaching services, chess teaching services, freelancing in the entertainment industry, and the all famous youtubers, along with those who sell costume made soap or coconut cream products, and of course accounting services or bodyguards or wedding photographers, or graphic designers for example.

But the service industry also comes at a cost. The return on investment tends to be very low. The service industry tends to involve long working hours for low pay. A lot of service industry workers are exploited, exchanging free services for the often undelivered promise of getting a job at the company demanding the service. And service workers are often asked to perform services that are outside their scope, under the pretext that the client is king. Furthermore many services don't have clear contracts, and many clients don't pay for their services.

But the service industry, just like industry and agriculture in the past, is going to mature and we'll get used to it. People are going to get better at performing their services. Some services are going to start being clearly defined. Service workers will learn about their rights, and laws will become clear as time goes by. Services will undergo slow but steady transformations, but people will get used to how services are provided. Customers will review services, and eventually the service industry will mature.

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