The Marijuana Industry is Projected to Create More Than 250,000 Jobs by 2020

As more and more states begin to legalize marijuana use—despite the president’s opposition to recreational marijuana—you probably figured the new industry will create some jobs.

How many jobs will be created, however, may surprise you. The legal cannabis market is projected to create more than 250,000 jobs by 2020, according to a report from New Frontier Data.

That’s more jobs than are projected for transportation, agriculture, utilities, or the federal government, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

New Frontier’s data projections are based only on the states that have already passed legalization. It does not include other states—even those that will likely legalize marijuana use in the next few years.

The U.S. marijuana industry is expected to be worth more than $24 billion by 2025. It was estimated to be worth $7.2 billion last year.

“While we see a potential drop in total number of U.S. jobs created in 2017, as reported by Kiplinger, as well as an overall expected drop in GDP growth, the cannabis industry continues to be a positive contributing factor to growth at a time of potential decline,” said New Frontier CEO Aguirre De Carcer, according to Forbes.

Aguirre De Carcer added that the numbers “confirm that cannabis is a major economic driver and job creation engine for the U.S. economy.”

The industry already employs between 100,000 to 150,000 people.

Today, No Degree Means No Job

Amid heated discussions of employee displacement due to automation and outsourcing, the fact that employers of traditionally low-skill jobs are now placing a premium on college degrees is getting overshadowed.

“In our factories, there’s a computer about every 20 or 30 feet,” Eric Spiegel, former president and chief executive of Siemens USA, told the New York Times. “People on the plant floor need to be much more skilled than they were in the past. There are no jobs for high school graduates at Siemens today.” The same goes for John Deere dealerships, where employees are often tasked with fixing tractors and harvesters. The traditional toolbox has been replaced by a computer that requires advanced math, comprehension, and problem-solving skills to operate.

As more companies incorporated various technologies into their business models over the years, the need for employees with more sophisticated skills and credentials increased. Now, not only have the jobs themselves evolved, but many companies are using a lack of a bachelor’s degree as a simple way to weed out less-desirable candidates. This means that a lot of factory-floor jobs aren’t going to be open to people without a college diploma, even if those people would be otherwise qualified for them.

Pursuing some form of post-secondary education is an obvious route for many, but only 44 percent of high school graduates enroll in a four-year program right after school, and fewer than half of those students will finish their degrees in four years’ time. Traditionally, two-year programs and community colleges have been used to bridge the skills gap, but they often end with students getting some kind of generic training or degree that still falls short of employers’ expectations.

Rapid changes in our technological landscape are demanding more from human workers because machines are now capable of delivering more, and contrary to what President Trump has said throughout his campaign and into his presidency, members of the working class aren’t losing most of their jobs to offshoring and globalization. In fact, a Ball State University study has concluded that almost nine out of 10 jobs have been lost to automation since 2000.

As automated systems continue to improve, this disconnect between the number of workers and the number of jobs they are qualified to fill is only going to grow. The job market in the age of automation is going to get even more competitive, so we need to find better ways to bridge the gap and put more people to work.

For employers, bachelor degrees are considered a validation of an applicant’s skill set and propensity to do well in a job. To some degree, they could be right, but experience gained through apprenticeship programs or on-the-job training is also a good way to assess potential. Those options are also a great way for young people to avoid costly student loans or the nerve-wracking process of hunting for a job after graduation. “Apprenticeships can start with a job and end with a Ph.D.,” said Noel Ginsburg, president and founder of Intertech Plastics in Denver.

Though it may be an easy way to cut down on the number of applicants for a job, a degree shouldn’t be the only thing employers look for in potential employees. Ultimately, we need to find other ways of judging an applicant’s past performance and suitability for the workplace. Pushing for education is important, but in this era of rapid technological advancement, it has to be combined with human adaptability and initiative, two skills that might prove to be the most valuable characteristics an employee can bring to the job site.

Should You Hide Your Tattoos When You Interview For a Job?

I got my first tattoo a few days after my 18th birthday, a small purple star on my lowest rib. And for my 20th birthday, all my friends pitched in $5 or $10 each and handed me the pile of cash that I needed for a frog tattoo on my shoulder. It’s still — by far — the best gift I have ever received. And though my tree frog tat has faded a bit over the ensuing 18 years, it still makes me happy every time I look at it.

Obviously, I’m pro-tattoo — which considering my age and gender, makes sense. More women have tattoos than men, and the younger you are, the more likely you are to be comfortable with tattoos in general, which have at least a 5,000-year-old history and maybe even longer. They were traditionally associated with spiritual or religious devotion. Even today, many tattoos have special significance to the wearer — both of mine absolutely do — and as tattooing has generally become safer, more people have memorialized, marked, celebrated or recognized important aspects of their lives on their skin.

That translates to skin art at work, too. And while tattoos used to be seen as something to cover or hide, especially during a job interview, now you might work at a place where tattoos are totally acceptable. But how do you know before an interview?

First, the company might have a code of conduct, so you can always do some research to find it (or ask a hiring manager before your interview). If that information doesn’t yield useful information, you might be able to make an educated guess based on several factors, like who is hiring you, what type of business it is, and even where the company is located.

According to the infographic below, which compiled research from a number of sources, while 63 percent of people older than age 60 think tattoos are inappropriate in the workplace, only 22 percent of those 18-25 do — so a company that is youth-oriented is probably more cool with tats. (See the list of tattoo-friendly companies like Lush Cosmetics, Whole Foods, Google and Best Buy.) It also depends what part of America you’re in: As you can see in the graphic, 55 percent of people in the Southwest, including Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, think tats are inappropriate on the job, but only 36 percent of people in New England do.

Outside variations in age and location that might affect someone’s opinion of tattoos, but there’s also the question of the kind of work you do. Only 8 percent of people in government have tattoos (the lowest rate found here), but a whopping 36 percent of people in the military do, which is interesting, if you consider that it’s people in government who direct what those in the military do. The next highest rate is for those in agriculture and ranching, at 22 percent, and right in the middle at 16 percent is media, arts, and entertainment, my own field of work.

My favorite stat is that only 14 percent of people regret their tattoos later in life. However you feel about tattoos for yourself or others, in the workplace or outside it, more people than ever have them and are getting them. And considering they’re permanent, they’ll be around for the rest of all of our lives — on people from all walks of life. Ultimately, I wouldn’t let a certain job dissuade me from getting a tattoo — though my field of work might influence where I place it, and how easy it is to cover up. Then you’re able to have the best of both worlds, having a tattoo that you love, but choosing who gets to see it, and when.

Amazon Adds 2,000 New Jobs at Local Distribution Centers

Amazon is adding 2,000 new jobs at its Florida fulfillment centers in Ruskin and Lakeland.

The online retailer employs already more than 2,000 people at its two distribution centers in the state.

The jobs available include picking, packing and shipping customer orders. All Amazon employees are eligible for benefits like health insurance, a 401(k) program with a 50 percent match, bonuses and stock rewards the day they start working. Amazon will also pre-pay 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand career fields, regardless if the field is relevant to jobs at Amazon.

The company finished construction on the 1.1 million-square-foot, $200 million fulfillment center in Ruskin in September and hired more than 1,000 workers to run it.

These Photographs Will Make You Rethink Homelessness

Not every homeless person you encounter on the streets fits the homeless stereotype of drug abuser or criminal that so many think make up the large majority of the homeless population. Some have simply made poor choices or have encountered misfortune at some point on life’s path. The following photoset may just change the way you look at the homeless…


Science Confirms It: Your Boss Is Making You Unhappy

There’s plenty of evidence out there to confirm the old adage that a happy worker is a productive worker. In a striking example from a 2012 study, American companies that made a list of the 100 best places to work generated between 2.3% and 3.8% higher stock returns, compared to competitors, between 1984 and 2011. What social science has been missing is equally strong evidence behind a common related belief: that behind each happy worker is a competent boss.

No more. A research group led by the labor economist Benjamin Artz of University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh claims to have compiled the first empirical support that a boss’s competence has a significant, measurable influence on a worker’s job satisfaction and overall well-being. In a new working paper, the researchers document their uncomfortably strong case by analyzing survey data from thousands of workers in the United States and Great Britain going back several decades.

“Bosses are ubiquitous in working life,” write Artz and company. “This paper offers evidence consistent with the belief that the qualities of bosses—in particular their technical competence—can have powerful and little-appreciated consequences for workers’ well-being.”

We’ve highlighted the key findings that, put together, confirm your gut instinct that it’s easier to be happy with your job when you have supervisors who are good at their own.

1. Competent bosses matter to American workers. Artz’s team crunched numbers from a random, nationally representative sample of about 6,000 young U.S. workers who responded to a survey in 1990. The workers were asked to rate the following statement on a four-point scale: “Overall, how satisfied are you with your job?” The researchers then correlated these answers with two general signs of competence: whether the workers’ bosses had worked their way up through the company or started the company. The link between job satisfaction and supervisor competence was “substantial.”

2. And to Brits, too. The researchers then analyzed similar data from a 2000 survey of 1,600 British workers. This time they linked job satisfaction with two different measures of supervisor competence: whether the boss could step in to do the worker’s job, and whether the boss is extremely good at his or her own job. In both cases, there was a strong connection. A boss who could fill in for an absent worker was worth almost half an extra point on a seven-point scale of job satisfaction. Meanwhile, bosses who did their own jobs well were worth a full extra point.

3. This “supervisor effect” has held true for years. To expand their data pool, the researchers next examined survey responses for American workers for five different years between 1979 and 1988. This amounted to roughly 27,000 employees in all. In this widened sample, the link between job satisfaction and supervisor competence became “very substantial”—with the savviest bosses worth a full point to worker well-being on a four-point scale.

4. And it “dominates” other potential job satisfaction factors. While it may be intuitive that a boss’s competence can influence a worker’s happiness, the same can be said for any number of other factors, including education, earnings, job tenure, and the type of work done (e.g. public versus private sector). What the researchers found, comparing the strength of all these variables, was that supervisor competence was the “single strongest predictor” of employee well-being (below). “It dominates any of the more conventional influences upon people’s job satisfaction, including the role of worker remuneration,” they write.


5. A worker’s personality has little to do with it. One objection to the aforementioned findings is that naturally cheerful workers might be more inclined to give higher job satisfaction or supervisor competence ratings, skewing the data toward the sunnier end of the spectrum. Artz and company tried to control for this sort of optimism. Though they didn’t have personality information, they found a survey response that might serve as a proxy for an upbeat nature: ratings of co-worker friendliness. With this factor out of the way, the link between worker well-being and boss competence did dampen slightly, but it remained significant—a result that the researchers find “consistent with the existence of a genuine role for supervisor competence.”

6. Nor does self-selection. Another potential objection to the findings is that workers often change jobs when they’re unhappy with their boss. In that sense, the survey data might show an artificially strong connection between job satisfaction and boss competence, because some employees might have chosen to work at places they know will make them happy. So the researchers removed any job switchers from the sample pool. That left only employees who’d stayed in the same job over time, and held a supervisor’s personal nature—rather than the nature of the work environment—as a constant. Once again, the competent supervisor effect held true.

7. Competent bosses matter more to older workers. Finally, Artz and company found that the effect of supervisor competence on job satisfaction varied a bit with a worker’s age. The well-being of older workers, in particular, seemed to rely more strongly on their boss. There are a couple reasons this might be the case. First, it’s tougher to change jobs as you get older, which means older workers may be stuck with whatever supervisor they have. Second, older workers tend to be more senior, meaning their direct supervisors might have more power within the company, and thus more influence in general over employee well-being.

Like all studies, this research has its limitations. It links supervisor competence with job satisfaction, but can’t show that the former directly caused the latter; it also tends to conflate “well-being” with “job satisfaction,” though the two concepts aren’t completely analogous. And, of course, the findings aren’t terribly surprising. But at least now when you complain about your boss, you have some evidence on your side.