« Extending Social Security and Medicare Eligibility Ages-Becker | Main | Automation and Employment--Posner »

03/17/2013

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

rjs

The 30 occupations with the largest projected employment growth, 2010-20

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.t06.htm

of the top 9, only one requires more than high school; 5 do not even require high school

Gertrud Fremling

Is there some technical problem in posting a longer comment? I have twice tried to post a longer comment. It appears to post, but then soon disappears!

Gertrud Fremling

Trying to post in 2 parts:

I agree with the first commenter here, it does not look dismal.
Prof. Becker's reasoning does not really seem to indicate exactly WHY low-skilled workers are going to face particularly bad times. Is it just a guess that past trends will continue? We should ask what particular technological forces in what sectors will occur. I could very well see the result going the other way, especially since simple demographics can tell us there will be fewer and fewer young uneducated workers flooding in from Mexico.
Perhaps it is the extremely high-skilled professor or lecturer who is going to be out of a job, as only a small percentage of current academics, especially those with entertainer-type skills, will be needed to create lectures, lectures to be seen on the computer all around the globe. And more and more middle management positions seem destined to continue being eliminated by the increased use of software such as SAP.
Or take highly skilled physicians, such as surgeons. Robots are starting to be used to assist in surgery. In the future, we might see technician-types, trained in using the robots take over. Computer technology also allows more outsourcing across the globe: Already today, on Saturday nights (when few people want to work in the US), scans are quickly read in Israel, where it is Sunday morning and the Sabbath is over. Not only can computers increasingly read scans but the ease of transferring scans can allow for more specializations. In other words, for both the surgeons and the specialized doctors reading scans, the very long and generalist training doctors currently go through might become less valuable.

Gertrud Fremling

Trying to post part 2 (condensed as the website does not seem to like long comments):

At the other end of the spectrum, technology makes low-skilled workers more productive. For instance, cab drivers don't need to know all that much about an area but increasingly use gps instead.

Being a cashier used to require good counting skills as well as trust. However with customers swiping credit cards on their own and with security cameras following every single move at each cashier (such as whether all the items were bagged and the customer picked up the bags), very low-skilled workers can be put to use as cashiers as long as they are nice and smile at the customers.

And with cellphones that can send instant pictures, a worker can rely on the knowledge of others. For instance, a roofer can send pictures of a problem roof instantly to his boss, who can give a diagnosis and tell what to do.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Become a Fan

May 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31