The New Workforce: 3 Tactics to Secure your Digital Future

The New Workforce: 3 Tactics to Secure your Digital Future

Both individual employees and their employers need to take action to prepare for a future where people increasingly work alongside machines.

Automation and artificial intelligence technologies are posing a peculiar challenge to workforce management. On the one hand, they are taking over certain types of jobs, sparking unemployment worries among workers. On the other hand, they are creating new opportunities requiring workers with specialized skills that are, unfortunately, in short supply. In numbers this reads as 5.5% of the world’s job seekers remaining unemployed, even as tens of millions of positions remain unfilled. We are staring down the barrel of […]

Slaughter & Rees Report: Whither Globalization and Work?

Slaughter & Rees Report: Whither Globalization and Work?

The world’s two largest economies are engaged in a trade war without clear end. Britain is in the midst of a messy exit from the European Union.

Germany wants to block foreign takeovers of German companies. And worldwide there were more than three times as many restrictive trade measures implemented in 2017–18 as liberalizing ones, according to Global Trade Alert. All of this prompts the question: Is globalization going in reverse?

Not quite. Yes, trade in goods is growing more slowly amidst rising trade barriers in many places. But trade in goods is still growing, and trade in information and other […]

How can you prepare for the future of work? The answer is not “learn to code.”

How can you prepare for the future of work? The answer is not “learn to code.”

Cover of Ellen Shell’s new book The Job. On the latest episode of Recode Decode , journalist and Boston University professor Ellen Shell joined Recode’s Kara Swisher in studio to talk about her latest book, The Job: Work and Its Future in a Time of Radical Change .

Shell explained why some of the conventional wisdom about the future of work is misguided and offered pragmatic advice for people entering an increasingly automated job market. She warned that the most at-risk jobs are “mid-skill” ones that are expensive for employers, which includes most software developers.

“It’s not necessarily the low-level routine […]

Technology and robots will shake labour policies in Asia and the world

Technology and robots will shake labour policies in Asia and the world

Developing countries must begin seriously considering how technological changes will impact labour trends. In the 21st century, governments cannot ignore how changes in technology will affect employment and political stability.

The automation of work – principally through robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of things (IoT), collectively known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution – will provide an unprecedented boost to productivity and profit. It will also threaten the stability of low- and mid-skilled jobs in many developing and middle-income countries. From labour to automation

Developing countries must begin seriously considering how technological changes will impact labour trends. Technology now […]

Letter: Liberals have no answer for the coming transition

Letter: Liberals have no answer for the coming transition

To the editor:

All along, there has been an out-of-favor answer to this cute rhetorical idiom: “Don’t call them liberals, call them progressives. Because who can be against progress?” I first heard this as an example of “framing,” attributed to George Lakoff.

The answer is obvious: the people left behind when those who could moved on with the change that was endorsed in the name of progress! In some cases, the transition and catching up was relatively painless and even profitable at many levels. Consider the farm workers (they used to be 38 percent of the labor force in 1900) who […]

If Amazon Go technology goes big, grocery workers may get the sack

If Amazon Go technology goes big, grocery workers may get the sack

In 1912, the first Horn & Hardart automat opened in New York City.

A combination of high-tech ingenuity and frugal convenience, the automat was a restaurant that cut out costly servers. Patrons fed coins into streamlined sets of vending machines to get main courses, side dishes and desserts among hundreds of choices.

The concept actually originated in Germany in 1895. Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart licensed it for the United States, opening first in Philadelphia. But it became a Big Apple icon, a backdrop for many movies. As one appreciation described it , “Dining was communal and cafeteria-style, to the extent […]

Automation causes trade

Automation causes trade

David Levey pointed me to a Samuel Hammond review of a book by Oren Cass , who is a conservative critic of neoliberalism: Accelerating productivity and automation aren’t to blame for working class woes, either. On the contrary, despite prophecies of robots rendering work obsolete, Cass marshals convincing data to show U.S. manufacturing productivity has essentially stagnated. More importantly, whether job destruction is from automation and globalization has very different implications. When a factory automates a process, output per worker rises and local labor demand may even increase. But when a worker is dislocated by trade, Cass notes, “the […]

Don’t like the left’s ‘jobs guarantee’ idea? Well, the right is cooking up one of its own

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, researcher Max Gulker offers a harsh critique of a “federal jobs guarantee.” Example: “Temporarily unemployed workers, along with millions of low-paid workers, would be diverted into a complex bureaucracy with no mechanism or incentive to put the workers’ skills and time to their best use.” Coal miners wait to start their shifts at the American Energy Corporation Century Mine in Beallsville, Ohio, US, November 7, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts Oh, the idea has problems, such as the possibility of these permanent government gigs possibly crowding out existing jobs. (That and many other problematic issues […]

Japanese fear automation will take more jobs than foreigners

Japanese fear automation will take more jobs than foreigners

Pew survey: Only 15% of adults feel youths will be better off than their parents Nearly 90% of Japanese think robots and computers will take over most of the jobs in the next half century. © Reuters TOKYO — The Japanese public is happier about the economy than at any time in nearly two decades, though few think the next generation will have it as good. People’s biggest fear is automation, not foreigners, taking jobs from local workers.

While 44% of respondents to a Pew Research Center survey said the current economic situation is good, 15% answered that today’s children […]

Long Before the Day After

Long Before the Day After

In Greek mythology, Talos was an automaton that protected Europa in Crete from pirates and invaders: Wikimedia Book: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publication: Jonathan Cape
Pages: 368
Price: 799 The Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari earned fame with Sapiens, a wonderfully lucid prehistory of the human race for the lay reader, and disappointed a little with Homo Deus, a speculation on the eventual future of the human race. Sapiens made the reader think afresh — even the reader familiar with Denisovans and the debate about the cultural accomplishments of […]