This is an argument that has been going on for some time now. Some people say that fast developments and advancements in the technological sector is responsible for the poor job employment opportunities scenario while others counterargue that technology has created more jobs than it has taken away. There are also others that say that America is not producing enough jobs because of high taxes and regulations.
Texas is creating jobs. California is not (unless it is on movies or tech). Jobs have been leaving the West Coast for lower tax states for many years now.
Moreover, Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at MIT Sloan School of Management, has been arguing for more than two years that all the technological advancements in various fields has led to large scale unemployment in the country. He cites several examples from various sectors like education, retail, manufacturing, clerical, and other.
A simple example would be that of a linguistic translator, which thanks to an array of smart apps are no longer required. Apps are now not only able to translate text from one language into hundreds of other languages, but they are also able to translate voice from one language into another on the fly.
A translator on the other hand would be able to translate only a fewer number of languages at one time. He argues that the rise of computers has led to a sluggish growth of employment opportunities in the last ten to fifteen years.
There are servers and cloud computing that are able to store data that earlier required humans like clerks. Storing data on servers and hard disks saves not only time but also resources and money leading to cost reduction for the companies. And in case there is a breach or for some reason the data is lost, Secure Data Recovery's data recovery software can recover that lost data, leading to a more secure environment.
The problem here, according to the MIT professors leading the research, is that these technological advancements are destroying jobs at a faster rate than it is actually creating employment opportunities. This is a matter of grave concern, one that can lead to many American men and women to move to try to find another job but with many jobs going overseas (or to Mexico), America is hurting itself and its citizens.
The Lines of Destiny
Brynjolfsson created a chart to explain the economic scenario and according to him, it is one of most crucial data that led him to come to the above conclusion.
The productivity is one of the important factors which show the economic factor that is created by a given amount of unit. An example would be labor which acts an indicator showing the rise of wealth and growth, a true measure of progress over a long period of time.
The two lines on the chart show productivity and the total amount of employment in the US. He says that after the World War 2 ended, the two lines have been closely following each other consistently more or less. However, after the year 2000 which is also about the time when computers took off in a big way, the lines have diverged. Earlier the pattern was clear, more sales leading to more productivity and more employment opportunities.
This is no longer the case. The pattern, according to the MIT professor is clear. The productivity is continuously rising thanks to all the technological developments in various fields across the country. However, the jobs line is falling rapidly. A significant gap appeared after the start of 2011 and it has been on the rise ever since. It is being called the Great Decoupling. He is of the opinion that all the development in the field of technology is leading both an increase in productivity as well as a fall in the rate at which new jobs are being created.
A lot of jobs have been replaced by technology. And this is happening at all sorts of levels across the industry such as health, finance, automobile, robotics and more. But there is a counterargument that the boost in the productivity is also responsible for a better and wealthier society. Technology has made it possible to improve our lifestyles, provide for better healthcare, and grow new business models.
So maybe it is not the technological development that is at fault, but the rate at which it is being developed is the problem. It seems that we are not able to handle the change which is happening too fast for our own good. Not only this, technology has also made many countless jobs safer and more fulfilling. The problem is that people are failing to adopt the rate at which change is coming, and they are failing to develop the necessary skills and organization to make themselves compatible with the new developments.
This has led to a gap in the system responsible for the loss of jobs and current state of employment. There is a strong need to fill in the void and adapt to the changing times and situation. Adopt and adapt should be the new mantra where people are encouraged to adopt new technologies and adapt to the new patterns of life. The people that can pivot in this new reality will do well, the people that cannot will be stuck with low paying work.