Implications for hospitality and travel: Trend 22 is responsible for much of the acceleration in technological advances seen in Trend 34.
23. Services are the fastest-growing sector of the global economy.
Service jobs have replaced many of the well-paid positions lost in manufacturing, transportation, and agriculture. Most of these new jobs, often part time, pay half the wages of manufacturing jobs. On the other hand, computer-related service jobs pay much more than the minimum—for workers with sound education and training. Service industries provide 79 percent of the GDP in the United States, 77 percent in France, 74 percent in Britain, 73 percent in Japan, and 70 percent in Germany. In each case, services are growing rapidly, other sectors less so, and they provide substantial majorities of private non-farm employment. Production and less-skilled jobs, in contrast, are disappearing. By 2014, the United States is expected to have more chief executives than machine tool operators, more lawyers than farm workers.
Assessment: There is no foreseeable end to this trend.
Implications: In the United States, the growth of service industries is helping to deplete the middle class, as well-paid jobs in manufacturing are replaced by relatively ill-paid service positions, leaving a country of “have-a-lots” and many “havenots,” but relatively few “have-enoughs.”
Services are now beginning to compete globally, just as manufacturing industries have done over the last 20 years. By creating competitive pressure on wages in the industrialized lands, this trend will help to keep inflation in check.
The growth of international business will act as a stabilizing force in world affairs, as most countries find that conflict is unacceptably hard on the bottom line.
Implications for hospitality and travel: This trend brings the opportunity to spin off peripheral functions to service firms that specialize in them. For example, there is no longer any reason for a major hotel to do its own laundry, wash its own cutlery, or even operate its own food service. All these functions can be farmed out to other companies and treated as an operating expense comparable to utilities. Many more such opportunities will appear in the years ahead, bringing still greater efficiency to the industries’ core customer-service functions.
24. Women’s salaries are approaching equality with men’s—but very slowly.
In the 1980s and ‘90s, women’s overall income in the United States was catching up with that of their male co-workers. More recently, it has stagnated. In 1995, university educated women earned 75.7 cents for every dollar earned by men, on average.
In 2005, it had fallen to 74.7 cents. During the same period, lower-income women continued to gain on their male peers, though very slowly. One reason may be that women are less interested than men in working 70 hours or more per week during their prime reproductive years, and growing numbers have chosen to stay home and rear their children. Women also appear to be less likely to choose and pursue a career on the basis of income. Studies that attempt to compensate for differences in factors such as education, occupation, experience, and union membership find much smaller income differences than others. One reported that women receive about 91 percent as much as men. Another held that incomes are virtually equal when measured with appropriate rigor. Some studies also suggest that the pay gap has largely disappeared for women in the newest cohort of workers. This would make sense, given the nearly total gender blindness of the Millennials.
The same trend is visible in most other industrialized countries. According to the European Commission, women on the Continent earn 15 percent less than men, on average, down from 17 percent in 1995. In Britain, the gap was 20 percent, down from 26 percent. Japan is an exception to this trend. The gender gap there remains near 35 percent.
Assessment: In the United States, this trend may be in its last generation, thanks to the gender-blind values of the Millennials. In other countries, and particularly Japan, it may have another 30 years to run.
Implications: The fact that women’s salaries are lagging despite higher academic achievement than men suggests that many college-educated women may be underemployed. Whether this is by their choice or occurs for some other reason has yet to be determined.
More new hires will be women, and they will expect both pay and opportunities equal to those of men.
Women’s average income could exceed men’s within a generation. College graduates enjoy a significant advantage in earnings over peers whose education ended with high school. In the United States, some 65 percent of young men and women enroll in college after high school, but women are more likely to graduate. About 58 percent of college graduates are women.
To the extent that experience translates as prestige and corporate value, older women should find it easier to reach upper-management positions. This will blaze the trail and help raise the pay scale for women still climbing the corporate ladder.
Competition for top executive positions, once effectively limited to men, will intensify even as the corporate ladder loses many of its rungs.
The glass ceiling has been broken. One-fourth of upper executives today, and nearly 20 percent of corporate board members, are women—far more than in any previous generation. Look for more women to reach decision-making levels in government and business.
However, the remaining obstacles to women’s advancement may explain why women now start businesses at roughly twice the rate of men.
Implications for hospitality and travel: This trend has fewer implications for hospitality and travel than for most other industries. Barriers to women’s advancement have been relatively small in hospitality and travel for many years, and women’s pay has been much nearer to that of men in similar positions that is common in other fields.