Technologies are changing the job market

Thesis: when we choose our job, it requires a longer view or perspective that includes an idea of where markets and employments are heading as new technologies leads certain job sectors to disappear dramatically.

Most people think that the advancement of science and technology is a key for humankind to fight against hunger, diseases, crime and war. Of course, it is true that the world has accomplished a lot of great achievements with new technologies. However, at the same time, technology sometimes aggravates some social problems, especially problems of unemployment, suggesting that advancement of technology can be a double-edged sword. Every student in our Econ 411 class wants a certain job for their future. But when we choose our job, it requires a longer view or perspective that includes an idea of where markets and employments are heading as new technologies leads certain job sectors to disappear dramatically.

As a student majoring in economics, I personally do not want to admit the fact that students majoring in computer science have a brighter future in job markets but it is an undeniable fact. People want more and more of new technologies that make their life easier and comfortable. When the demand for certain product is high, companies have incentive to make that product by employing more people, which is a good thing for engineers. However, the problem in the job market that we should concern arises when new technologies replace employees. Futurist Thomas Frey predicts that more than 2 billion jobs will disappear by 2030, which is roughly 50 % of all the jobs on the planet. Thomas Frey said development of renewable energy and decentralized power generation will decrease job demands in areas like ethanol and coal production, power plants and even railroad transportation, which is slowly happening as renewable energies are successfully deployed on a commercial scale. This implies that people in this sector will lose their jobs.

In addition, we should avoid working in certain sectors that can be easily replaceable by robots. If you think of robots that are simply capable of cleaning your house, it is time to change your perspective towards robots. With complicated algorithms, robots have intelligence that is sometimes estimated much higher than humans in some areas. Some experts even say that the robots will be more intelligent than humans. Futurist Ray Kurzweil said, “computers will be billions of times more powerful than unaided human inteliigence”.According to a new article by the International Federation of Robots, employment of robots increased by 40 percent worldwide between 2011 and 2012. In other words, this increases will replace some employees, which will lead to a higher unemployment rate. Therefore, as the world is moving towards using more robots, people who work in the service sectors or who want to work in the service sectors should consider to find a new job. Of course, I do not trust every single word from futurists, but it would be great if our jobs are not easily replaceable by robots.

I think new technologies will not be able to replace high skilled workers within 100 years. Most jobs that are disappearing are the low level or low-skilled labor positions. Our job is not simply inventing new technologies. It is time to challenge ourselves by improving our workforce to match with the labor demand.





6 thoughts on “Technologies are changing the job market

  1. Matthew Hillebrand

    Technology is always the driving force behind jobs and a growing economy. I don’t think that technology will ever take over completely for humans and drive us into a Wall-E type society, but it’s likely that manufacturing is going to go by the wayside within the next 100 years. Manufacturing is already becoming a much less human capital focused and more machine capital.

  2. Tor Martinsen

    I think this is just the normal progress of human evolution. These technologies are making life easier and should not be stopped. While some people might undergo economic hardships as there jobs get replaced by automated machines, for the world as a whole this technological progress is a good thing.

  3. Zach Schoettle

    Technology has always affected economies and their growth. In the future, I wonder if frobots will cause greater income inequality, since robot producers would be able to increase output dramatically. At the same time, jobs will disappear for workers with skills that can be replicated by robots. This will be very interesting to see in the future. I do not believe robots will be economically effective in the short term future.

    1. Hojoon Kim Post author

      Thank you for your comment. I agree with your point that people will lose their but most people who would lose their jobs because of robots will be mostly low skilled people such as taxi driver or servers at restaurants.

  4.'Nathaniel Beck

    This article makes a lot of good points that can be applied to the current issue in the fast food industry. Fast food workers, as workers with low skill, are demanding higher wages. At the same time, technology is becoming more advanced which would make it cheaper to replace these workers with automation and robots. This creates a tough decision for companies to either raise wages slightly or cut labor and increase profits with the implementation of automation.

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