Women, Automation, & The Future of Work

Automation, artificial intelligence, and other technological changes are already affecting the number and quality of jobs. The number of workers employed in brick and mortar retail stores has fallen while the number employed in fulfillment centers preparing online orders for shipping increased by 400,000 between 2007 and 2017 (Mandel 2017). In retail stores there are fewer cashiers and more self-checkout machines, more people today find work using online labor platforms, and the number of bank tellers is falling as the public does much of its banking online. These changes and others have led to a rash of research studies on the future of work and what it will mean for workers. One widely cited 2013 study found that 47 percent of all jobs in the United States are at risk of automation with the technology we currently have over “some unspecified number of years, perhaps a decade or two” (Frey and Osborne 2013, p. 38). The Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, projects that the total number of jobs will actually increase by seven percent between 2016 and 2026 (Lacey et al. 2017). Yet other researchers focus on how the content of jobs will change, and the potential for technology to generate new jobs both in current occupational categories and in completely new categories we cannot yet imagine.

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Source: WUNRN – 16.03.2019