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IT Killing Jobs Faster than Creating Jobs

Unemployment and economic output are at near-record highs. So where did all the jobs go? Fast-advancing, IT-driven automation might be playing the biggest role in our current jobs crisis.

What’s the Latest Development?

Not since the Industrial Revolution have so many people feared that new technologies would permanently erode employment. In our time, the nature of jobs made obsolete by machines is different than ever before. “Communication and computer abilities mean that the type of jobs affected have moved up the income distribution,” says Peter Diamond, winner of a 2010 Nobel Prize for his work on market imperfections, including those that affect employment. Diamond says he is confident the market will eventually find new jobs for people.

What’s the Big Idea?

Not only are machines able to do increasingly complex and better-paid work, but the rate of technological advance has never been faster. The result is that it is increasingly difficult for the labor market to adjust to the need for new skill sets. Experts argue that the technology currently making industry more productive should be applied to improving and updating the education system. And until the labor market adjusts to the IT-driven economic tumult, the government should invest more in infrastructure and education to encourage growth.

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