Macro structural changes

Numerous institutions and systems in America have changed as a result of macro structural changes. These alterations demonstrate how rapidly technology, globalization, and employment have developed. The employment arrangements from World War 2 were in effect before to the mid-1970s, when major structural changes occurred. Social contract between enterprises, safety, stability, and relative growth were traits of these systems. Employers started looking for flexibility as a result of the changes to fit in with the cultural and competitive environment (Duffy and Pupo 6). The present knowledge-based economy was thus established. This project will, therefore, discuss in detail the changes that led to transitioning of the American economy by analyzing data from various sources and interviews from relevant people.

One of the macro-structural factors that resulted in change is globalization. IN the mid-1970s, firms in America started facing stiff competition from foreign companies which were able to produce and sell their commodities at lower prices (Jessop and Wodak 10). The increase in international competition and trade led to the growth of globalization, and as a result, the labor market become globalized too. Secondly, the internalization led to price competition in both foreign and American firms which made it harder for businesses to make profits. Consequently, companies in the United States were forced to be more efficient and also reduce production costs thus increase their profits margins (Hochschild 7). Finally, the double movement also led to change. The one side of the double shift was steered by laissez-faire and economic liberalism while the second side was characterized by movements towards socially protecting people due to social and ecological disturbances that were results of a free unregulated economy (Jessop and Wodak 14)

Present Evidence

Aggregate Impact

Figure 1: Income of workers by race over time.

Figure 2: Percentage of workers in each major industry over time

Figure 3: Percentage of workers in each major industry over time

Summary of Findings

Figure 1 shows that that the income of has been consistent for the last one decade with a median income of 36,000 dollars which is an increase from 32,000 dollars in 1995 (Flood and Warren 13). From 1995 to 2015, the revenue of Asians in America has increased by 3,000 dollars but they still the race with the highest income when compared to Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites. Of all the races represented in the graph, Hispanics and blacks have had the lowest income. Blacks had a median income of 24,000 dollars in 1995 which then fell to 20,000 in 1985 and rose again to 27,000 dollars in 2015. Just like blacks, the median income of Hispanics too fell from 24,000 dollars in 1975 to 20,000 dollars in 1995 and 2005. The income of Hispanics has since then risen to 23, 000 dollars which are close to their revenue in 1975. The income of white people in America is the second after Asians. Median income of whites feel from 30,000 to 27,000 dollars and has been consistently rising over the years to 35,000 dollars in 2015. The income of other races has remained almost constant with the lowest amount being 24,000 dollars in 1995 and the highest amount being 28,000 dollars in 1975.

From Figure 2, manufacturing was the industry with the highest percentage of workers in 1975 with 23% which has reduced over time to 9% in 2015 (Flood and Warren). In 1975, the professional services industry had a total of 19.32% of workers, and in 2015, the industry had a total 28% making it sector with most workers currently. The percentage of people working in the wholesale and retail sector has remained at 20% since 1975 until 2015 making it the industry with the second largest number of workers today. The sector that has had the least amount of workers from both surveys is mining. In 1975 only 0.83% people were working in the mining sector, and in 2015 there was a slight increase to 0.89%. The business and repair trade is another sector that showed a huge difference from 2% in 1975 to 7% in 2015. The number of workers in the other sectors has not changed much over the years with small variations of about 2% from 1975 to 2015.The last figure shows that the most Hispanics offer professional services with 19.42% followed by manufacturing which has 10.23% of its workers as Hispanics. The industry with the least Hispanics is the public administration with 3.45%.

Interview Data Summary

The first interviewee was an elderly black woman, Mary (name changed for confidentiality). Mary started working at the age of twenty-four in 1972 in a textile manufacturing company as a non-skilled worker. The experience at the industry helped Mary gain some skills and when she later acquired college education, she was promoted to a product line supervisor. Although Mary is sixty-nine years old, she does not wish not retire since the working conditions have significantly improved over time. Mary alleged that the macro structural changes greatly influenced the labor force and a lot has changed over the years especially for black woman. She said, “I was the only black woman in my department at the time I was employed and as competition increased, night shift was introduced. Our salaries were cut by almost half too. I was grateful that I did not give up after staying in the job for five years (Flood and Warren 13).

The second interviewee Tahir, a young Asian man aged 29. Tahir works in in one of the leading retailers in New York. Tahir was employed in 2012 after he dropped out of college while pursuing medicine due to lack of funds. Since Tahir started working way after the changes, he knows very little about the macro-structural shifts identified at the beginning of this report. Tahir said that although he did not experience the disruptions, he can feel the consequence. “Labor became globalized, and my family moved from Asia to America in search of white collar jobs, but with the stiff competition at the time, we ended up living in the ghetto. It was very hard to get a job, but finally my father got a job as a bus driver,” Tahir said (Flood and Warren 15).


In conclusion, the macro-structural factors that resulted in a change of the labor and economic structure of America which resulted in both long-term and short-term changes in the working population of America. From figure 1 above, the median income of all races reduced during the transition but then after four decades, it increased way past the earning before the shift. During the development, a lot of people were laid off due to increasing competition. However, the competition also resulted in cheaper products. While seeking to reduce production cost and improve efficiency, most companies lowered the price of commodities making them more affordable. As revealed by Mary, the first interviewee, wages and salaries were cut and the night shift was introduced to keep them afloat amid the high competition. Although she did not quit her job, she felt the pressure. Her endurance paid off since the salaries have been rising over the past one decade.

The unregulated market also resulted in internalization of labor. The second interviewee disclosed that his whole family had shifted from Asia to America in search of a well-paying job. Although the father landed a job as a driver, he was still not able to get funds for college at the time because of the low wages. Though the income of Asians remained the highest during the transition it was still too little hence the family stayed in the ghetto. The macro-structural factors that led to change did affect not only the economy but also individual workers.

Works Cited

Duffy A., Glenday D., & Pupo N. (1997). Good jobs, bad jobs, no jobs: The transformation of work in the 21st century. Toronto: Harcourt Brace Canada.

Flood, Sarah, Miriam King, Steven Ruggles, and Robert Warren. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, Current Population Survey: Version 4.0.

Hochschild, Arlie Russell. “The Managed Heart.” 27 August 2017.

Jessop, B., Fairclough, N., & Wodak, R. (2008). Education and the knowledge based economy in Europe. Rotterdam: Sense.


Interview with Mary

Interviewer: When did you begin working?

Mary: I began working in 1972. I was a casual laborer at the textile manufacturing company.

Interviewer: Describe your experience during your first days of work.

Mary: Life was a bit hard during this time. I was the only black woman in my department and I faced discrimination in terms of work overload and meagre pay. Moreover, I had not acquired any education fit for this industry and so I could not hold a respectable job position.

Interviewer: Is there any difference in the working conditions between when you began working and now?

Mary: Yea. A lot of changes have taken place. When I was first employed, we were required to work even at night to help in beating competitors. However, in recent days the industry has come up with better ways to rise above competitors by focusing on quality over quantity. Moreover, the company now focuses on the wellbeing of the employees and I am grateful that I did not give up after staying in the job for five years.

Interviewer: Are you proud of the job position you hold?

Mary: I went back to school after some years and I was promoted as the product line supervisor. I am satisfied in this job and since the working conditions have improved significantly over the years, I wish I could work here longer. I am not eager to retire. (Chuckles)

Interviewer: Thank you for the participation.

Interview with Tahir

Interviewer: When did you begin working?

Tahir: I began working in 2012 as a casual laborer in one of the leading retail shops in New York.

Interviewer: Describe your experience during your first days of work.

Tahir: I began working after the great economic depression of 2008. Although I did not experience any disruptions, I must say that I can feel the consequences. Labor became globalized, and my family moved from Asia to America in search of white collar jobs, but with the stiff competition at the time, we ended up living in the ghetto. It was very hard to get a job, but finally my father got a job as a bus driver.

Interviewer: Is there any difference in the working conditions between when you began working and now?

Tahir: I have not noticed any major changes. There is just as much competition for job opportunities as there were when I began working.

Interviewer: Are you proud of the job position you hold?

Tahir: I am grateful for this job because it helps me support my father in maintaining our family. However, this is not the job I would love to engage in my entire life. I dropped out of medical school in college due to inadequate funds. If I could get the funds, I believe I would not stay in this job longer.

Interviewer: Thank you for the participation.

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