Higher Productivity Is Good for Workers

Many agree that the emerging wave of technological innovation in fields including robotics and artificial intelligence holds the promise of boosting productivity. But this next wave will likely have differential impacts on occupations. Estimates of the impact of these technologies on occupations show that there is a significant negative correlation between the average wage of an occupation and its risk of automation. In other words, this next wave of innovation is more likely to automate low-wage jobs than middle- and upper-wage jobs. If true, this means that there will be a larger proportion of middle- and upper-wage jobs as lower-wage jobs are automated at higher rates and therefore employ fewer people. This would have the beneficial result of there being fewer lower-paying jobs and more better-paying jobs — a plus for many workers now employed in occupations whose productivity and wages remain low and stagnant. This means that rather than protect lower-wage cashiers and toll-takers from automation we should encourage more and faster automation so that we get more middle-wage carpenters and sales reps.
Link: https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2019/08/12/higher-productivity-is-good-for-workers/

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