I LOL when I read that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's “New Year's resolution is to learn to code.”
The same day Bloomberg tweeted his plan, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest jobs report. And it was no laughing matter. While the overall unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly three years, black joblessness rose from 15.5 percent to 15.8 percent.
Private employers added 1.9 million jobs in 2011. Black workers are disproportionately employed in the public sector which lost 244,000 jobs last year. The writing is on the wall: A secure “good government job” is going the way of six-day mail delivery.
Innovation will accelerate public sector downsizing. The San Francisco Chronicle reported:
The nonprofit Code for America plans to open a first-of-its-kind “civic accelerator” in San Francisco, a program designed to house, mentor and fund startups focused on using technology to improve government efficiency.
The details are still being worked out, but Code for America will work with the city to identify departments in particular need of new online tools. Code for America will sponsor so-called hackathons this spring and summer to find and fund entrepreneurs building the most promising solutions.
As cities and states rethink how they deliver public services, workers will feel the impact. So if Bloomberg has resolved to learn code in 2012, why not you?