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#1384805 --- 01/27/13 09:33 AM technology killing middle class jobs?
newsman38 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 4945
Loc: Fourth Estate
Is technology killing middle class jobs?

NEW YORK — Five years after the start of the Great Recession, the toll is terrifyingly clear: Millions of middle-class jobs have been lost in developed countries. And the situation is even worse than it appears.

Year after year, the software that runs computers and an array of other machines and devices becomes more sophisticated and powerful and capable of doing more efficiently tasks that humans have always done. For decades, science fiction warned of a future when we would be architects of our own obsolescence, replaced by our machines; an Associated Press analysis finds that the future has arrived.

“The jobs that are going away aren’t coming back,” says Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of “Race Against the Machine.” “I have never seen a period where computers demonstrated as many skills and abilities as they have over the past seven years.”

What hope is there for the future?

Historically, new companies and new industries have been the incubator of new jobs. Start-up companies no more than five years old are big sources of new jobs in developed economies. In the U.S., they accounted for 99 percent of new private sector jobs in 2005, according to a study by the University of Maryland’s John Haltiwanger and two other economists.

But even these companies are hiring fewer people. The average new business employed 4.7 workers when it opened its doors in 2011, down from 7.6 in the 1990s, according to a Labor Department study released last March.

Positions disappearing as computer software, machines and other devices take over
By BERNARD CONDON and PAUL WISEMAN - The Associated Press
Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013

#1384948 --- 01/27/13 09:17 PM Re: technology killing middle class jobs? [Re: newsman38]
Timbo Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 14208
Loc: CNY
This in nothing new. Technology has been responsible for large-scale job losses for more than 500 years. The creation of unions on the other hand, largely offset the potential drawbacks of mechanization and automation. The relatively recent weakening of unions over the past 35 years, has been one of the greatest causes of such high numbers of lost jobs, meanwhile corporations rack up profits astronomically higher than at any point in history.

The origins of the words 'sabotage' and 'Luddite' tell part of that story:
Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.