Archive for August 2010
… Job statistics offer a measure of the recent recession’s depth, but tell only part of the story.
A recent report, by MIT economist David Autor, makes the case that the middle is dropping out of the job market; specifically, the economy is rapidly shedding certain kinds of occupations that used to be solid tickets to the middle class.
The kinds of jobs that are disappearing: “Middle-skill, white collar clerical, administrative, and sales occupations and in middle-skill, blue-collar production, craft, and operative occupations.”
What’s driving the change? Primarily automation and offshoring, Autor finds.
If a routine task (one that involves repetition) can be performed successfully by a machine or by a lower-paid worker in a developing country, it will be. And as computer and communications technologies continue to improve, more machines, or non-U.S. workers, will be performing those kinds of tasks.
The thing is, though, the pace of automation is escalating – Read the rest of this entry »