State officials on Feb. 17 published a long-awaited slate of recommendations laying out how the New Jersey workforce of the 21st century needs to change in the decades to come.
The 179-page report, which was first ordered by the Murphy administration in 2019 before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, delves into “how technological advancements will shape the future of New Jersey’s economy and workforce.”
Future of work has been something that the tech industry has been tinkering with for years, especially following a global pandemic that gave enough people a taste of telecommuting arrangements, which has fostered resistance from many to the return to a 40-hour, in-office workweek.
“In a rapidly changing economy directly impacted by the development of new technology, inequality, and the challenges of the climate crisis, we have an important and urgent role to play in equipping our workers to be successful,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in the Thursday announcement.
“Creating opportunities for new industries, well-paid work, and paths for career growth will be essential to our economy and to easing the fear and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had an enormous impact on the state labor market and work environment,” he continued in a message accompanying the report.
The recommendations range from state financing for continuing education and training programs for low-income workers, to education workers’ rights and employee misclassification laws; expanded access to low and no-cost higher education tuition assistance programs; and upgrades to the state’s pandemic-ravaged, beleaguered unemployment system.