Manufacturing shrinks, raising questions for Trump

The risks of an economic recession are on the rise, but the country’s manufacturing sector is already there.

And for President Trump , who promised to end the “American carnage” of “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation,” that could be political trouble.

The manufacturing sector shrunk by 1.9 percent in the first quarter of the year, and another 1.2 percent in the second quarter. In July, it is estimated that it contracted 0.4 percent. A recession occurs when an economy contracts in two consecutive quarters.Trump won the Electoral College and White House by becoming the first […]

‘Wealth work’ captures only part of the stark jobs divide

‘Wealth work’ captures only part of the stark jobs divide

The Digital Gilded Age would seem to be producing its own version of “the help” that tended to the wealthy during the American Gilded Age of the late 19th century, or the estates of Britain at the Empire’s zenith.

Think of it as Downton Abbey without the snazzy period costumes, or getting to live in the baronial manor, or having paternalistic aristocrats occasionally reward the loyalty of those “in service.”

That, at least, is the impression one might get from a recent story by Christopher Rugaber of The Associated Press.“One of the fastest-growing job categories of the past decade has been […]

The robots are coming — but take a breath

The robots are coming — but take a breath

While automation and robots will displace millions of jobs, it’ll most likely create millions more.

Our current round of technological unemployment might just be a transitionary phase.

The fear of automation has been around for decades. Automation, and the rise of robots with superior AI promises to bring about a new era of industry and civilization. Our wildest sci-fi dreams could be realized within the century. Yet, the clamor and hoopla surrounding the topic has been overwhelmingly pessimistic – bordering on neo-luddism at times. That is, the fear is that advancements in automation, artificial intelligence and robotics will […]

Automation creates jobs, increases productivity at Nova Scotia companies

Automation creates jobs, increases productivity at Nova Scotia companies

News release

Six Nova Scotian steel and aluminum companies benefit from advanced manufacturing machinery, robotics and modernization

Canadian steel and aluminum companies that embrace automated machining are reducing waste, better utilizing skilled labour, increasing production quality and providing good jobs for Canadians. The Steel and Aluminum Initiative, announced in March 2019, will help steel and aluminum manufacturing businesses grow and modernize thanks to new automated technologies.Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced contributions totaling $2,479,501 to six steel and aluminum manufacturers in Nova Scotia. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister […]

What’s Worse Than Being Replaced By a Robot?

What's Worse Than Being Replaced By a Robot?

Conversations around artificial intelligence and automation tend toward the apocalyptic. In January, the Brookings Institution reported that more than 35 million Americans hold jobs with "high exposure" to automation. These vulnerable professionals – occupying roles in production, food service, and transportation – could already see at least 70% of their day-to-day tasks replicated by a machine. It’s clear that these machines will soon graduate from replicating tasks to replicating entire jobs, even mechanizing entire industries. The report anticipates this massive shift and concludes with a call to action. To "mitigate coming stresses," it reads, organizations will need to pursue […]

Automation & AI won’t make low-skilled jobs disappear

Automation & AI won’t make low-skilled jobs disappear

Representational image | Photo: Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg Whether AI and automation will create, eliminate or modify jobs, and how much, is the central question of a never-ending debate. In 2013, the Oxford academic duo Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne published a study titled “ The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerization? ”, which estimated that 47% of American jobs are at high risk by mid-2030.

Last year, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released The Future of Jobs 2018 report, stating that algorithms and intelligent machines are expected to create 133 million new roles globally while […]

Multi-Disciplinary Education In The 4IR Era

Multi-Disciplinary Education In The 4IR Era

There is an adage that states “if you want to know the future of a nation, study the behavior of its teachers”.

The most potent force for political, economic and social progress in society is education. The measure of how great a nation will rise is determined by how many people in its population are educated. The African continent today has a total purchasing power parity gross domestic product (GDP) of $6.7 trillion, and a population of 1.2 billion people.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in 2016, sub-Saharan Africa had a literacy rate of 76% […]

Overlooked on economy? Rising paychecks for blue-collar workers are shrinking the wage gap

Overlooked on economy? Rising paychecks for blue-collar workers are shrinking the wage gap

We need more emphasis on blue-collar trades. There’s more than one path to a solid paycheck, especially given demographic and workplace trends.

Monthly reports on the number of new jobs and the unemployment rate can drown out important trends like these two: After four decades of worsening, wage inequality has started shrinking. And in a twist, America’s blue-collar workers are playing the biggest role in driving that reversal.

This may come as a surprise, because education is classically seen as a ladder up the income scale . Despite blue-collar workers often lacking college degrees , their wages have been accelerating […]

Replaced by a robot? Workers less upset about machines taking over

Replaced by a robot? Workers less upset about machines taking over

Would you rather be replaced by a machine – or by another human? A university study delivers surprising results Would you rather be replaced by a machine – or by another human?

In the changing world of work, employees are said to feel more threatened by fellow humans taking over their jobs than by robots displacing them, according to a recent study published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

While people generally view artificial intelligence and automation as a threat to employment, they tend to feel less upset about a robotic/AI takeover when their own jobs are on the line, said […]

Productivity declines again despite record employment and rising pay, Office for National Statistics says

Productivity declines again despite record employment and rising pay, Office for National Statistics says

Manufacturers were said to be more likely to put investment into factory automation than on its workforce Britain’s productivity problems are showing no signs of relenting, with output per hour falling for a fourth quarter in a row.

Productivity fell by 0.6 per cent between April and the end of June compared with a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said. The decline was sharper than the previous quarter, when productivity declined by 0.2 per cent year-on-year.

Despite employment being at a record high and wages rising, economists warned that productivity would cap the prospects for future pay growth. […]