Monday, July 16, 2012

This Is Where The Jobs Are (Link Round-Up 7/16/12)

Cross-border crime generates $870 billion every year
Researchers found that drug trafficking is “the most lucrative” for international crime rings, fetching them $320 billion a year.  
The $250 billion-a-year illegal counterfeiting business “is also a very high earner for organized crime groups,” the report added.  
Human trafficking generates $32 billion a year.  
The environment also continues to be taken advantage of by criminal groups, with timber trafficking in Southeast Asia bringing in $3.5 billion annually, for example, and elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts illegally taken from Africa and Asia generating an annual $75 million, said the report.
The rise of American exports
A decade ago Air Tractor sold almost all its crop-dusting and fire-fighting aircraft in the United States, leaving it vulnerable both to America’s business cycle and its weather. Now, helped by federal financing, it has increased foreign sales to about half its total. Employment has more than doubled, to 270. From its home in Olney, Texas (population 3,285), Air Tractor this year will sell 40 aircraft, a fifth of its annual total, to Brazil, which needs bigger crop-dusters to expand grain sales worldwide. “If we can do it from a town that has three stop-lights and one Dairy Queen, it can be done by anyone,” says David Ickert, the chief financial officer.
The future of the American economy: glorified service jobs for glorified creative industries
Realistically, it’s going to be hard to transform an illiterate and innumerate burger flipper into an IT support specialist overnight—Per Scholas, for example, will only take applicants with a high school diploma or GED who also test at the 10th grade level or higher in math and English. So Katz also sees improving basic education—upgrading school quality and graduation rates, and channeling more graduates into post-secondary training—as essential to building a new artisan economy.
The booming temp worker economy
It's not a pretty formula, but it works. With 600 offices and a workforce of 400,000—more employees than Target or Home Depot—Labor Ready is the undisputed king of the blue-collar temp industry. Specializing in "tough-to-fill, high-turnover positions," the company dispatches people to dig ditches, demolish buildings, remove debris, stock giant fulfillment warehouses—jobs that take their toll on a body. (See "I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave.") And business is booming. Labor Ready's parent company, TrueBlue, saw its profits soar 55 percent last year, to $31 million, on $1.3 billion in sales. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that "employment services," which includes temporary labor, will remain among the fastest growing sectors through 2020. TrueBlue CEO Steve Cooper, who took home nearly $2 million last year, predicts "a bright future ahead."
Homeboy Industries: creating jobs for the people no one else will hire
In her book The New Jim Crow, Ohio State University law professor Michelle Alexander counts all the ways that felons, even those arrested for minor drug offenses, end up excluded from productive life. Depending on where they live, they can lose, forever, the right to vote, to serve on a jury, to receive professional licenses, and to qualify for food stamps and even financial aid for college. Alexander points to recent research by the National Employment Law Center that found Craigslist job postings for warehouse workers and pizza-delivery drivers that explicitly bar anyone who has committed a felony from applying. In Ohio, where Alexander lives, a felon can even be denied a barber’s license.
Cuba receives first US shipment in 50 years
US President Barack Obama has somewhat eased the embargo, lifting some travel restrictions and allowing Cuban Americans to send unlimited remittances back home, a significant move as 80 per cent of the estimated 1.5 million members of the Cuban diaspora live in the US.
Kenyan cellphone banking skyrockets
n 2011, the percentage of cell phone users exceeded the percentage of people over 15 years old, suggesting that most adults had mobile access. And you can see that mobile payment users now exceeds the number of people who have internet access: in other words more people are using mobile payments in Kenya than there are people browsing the web on their laptops or desktop computers.

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