Advances in computer technology are largely behind the slow employment growth of the last years.
Many types of jobs are increasingly adopted by powerful new technologies not only in manufacturing, clerical, and retail but in professions such as law, financial services, education, and medicine.
Robots, automation, and software can and will replace people.
Rapid technological change has been destroying jobs in technologically advanced countries faster than it is creating them, contributing to the growth of inequality.
In economics, productivity is a crucial indicator of growth and wealth creation. It is a measure of progress. As from 2011, a significant gap appears between economic growth with no parallel increase in job creation.
Technological progress is eliminating the need for many types of jobs and leaving the typical worker worse off than before. Productivity is at record levels, innovation has never been faster, and at the same time, we have a falling median income and we have fewer jobs.
People are falling behind because technology is advancing so fast and our skills and organizations aren’t keeping up. The same technologies that make jobs safer, easier, and more productive were also reducing the demand for Human workers.
A less dramatic change, but one with a potentially far larger impact on employment is taking place in clerical work and professional services. Countless traditional white-collar jobs, such as many in government, post office, banking and in customer service will disappear.
In an autonomous economy, robots and automation will be doing Human jobs, digital processes will be talking to other digital processes and creating new processes and thus enabling to do many things with fewer people and making yet more Human jobs obsolete.
Digital versions of Human intelligence are increasingly replacing even those jobs once thought to require people.
We are exposed to so much information. Radio, television, newspapers, magazines, books tell us all sorts of attractions about things that other people are doing and we’re always wishing we were in somebody else’s shoes. Because we know so much and we’re informed so much.
But in this kind of culture, everybody is settled for the fact that one day is just like another, and there they do what has to be done. What is in the course of things, and we don’t approve of this because we say it’s lacking in friskiness, adventure and get up and go.
But on the other hand they turn round to us and say, you are completely unstable. You are so frisky yourself nervous you can’t stay still for two seconds you can’t stick to a job you can’t do anything stable your utterly unreliable, and you will probably blow up the planet.
And it’s legitimate, for the simple reason that technology is getting rid of the need to earn a living. And many of us will soon have to be paid not to work, at which point we can become Vannaprastha right away.
So, as technology develops that means the leisure society, and we’re going to have to find ways of living in which one self-respect does not depend upon one’s productivity.