From many generations, the smart students around Detroit aspire to have a business or engineering degree and later get a job in an automobile industry or its supplier. If someone works hard, they can earn enough to fulfill the dreams of their family. But this route towards the prosperity seems to be diminishing, as GM recently announced its plan of removing 8000 white collar employees apart from 6000 blue collar employees.
This was a serious warning during this age of disruptive and rapid technological change, having a college degree does not insulate the white collar employees from layoffs. Such cutbacks have reflected a transformation in both auto industry as well as the broader economy of the US, with around each business moving towards use of software, technology and automation. It is the largest trend pervading entire global economy, says Mark Muro of Brookings Institute who studies the changes caused due to digital era.
The cities that experienced job losses in manufacturing industry many decades before are struggling now with the problems of lesser opportunities for the white collared employees like managers, bankers, accountants and lawyers. Since 2008, it was found that one third of the major metro areas in the US have lost larger percentage white collar employees jobs than the blue collar ones.
This phenomenon was seen in places like Kansas, Wichita in the downsized industry of aircrafts, while towns in the Wisconsin have lost automobile, furniture making or industrial machinery jobs. In the case of General Motors, jobs will be mostly shed due to layoffs and buyouts. The people affected due to this are the experts of IC engines, like mechanical engineers & others who work for developing fuel injectors, exhaust and transmission systems which are not needed in developing electric cars. General Motors says that electric vehicle market is going to be the future.