Save Jobs, Address Automation

Automation, not trade, is causing job losses and economists must address it.

In recent months, the subject of automation and its role in our economy has taken hold in our discourse. As anyone who has visited Youngstown, Ohio or Buffalo, New York could tell you, automation has already taken its toll on the American middle class. Technology broadly and automation specifically are dramatically reshaping the way we work. And we need to have a plan for what’s still to come.

We don’t have to look further than our own communities to see the evidence. From automated warehouses to touchscreen fast food restaurants, from Amazon’s new cashier-less grocery stores to neighborhood libraries that offer self-checkout lanes in lieu of employing real people – automation is increasingly replacing jobs and leaving too few good new jobs in its wake.

The statistics in manufacturing are staggering. Despite the prevailing narrative from talking heads on TV, a recent Ball State report showed that just 13 percent of jobs lost in manufacturing are due to trade – the rest of the losses have been due to advances in technology.

That is just one reason more and more people from across the political spectrum are crying foul over the ever-increasing role of technology in our economy. Our country is manufacturing more than ever before, but we are doing it with fewer workers. But it’s not just factories that are seeing losses – software and information technology are also having a dramatic impact on jobs most people think are secure from the forces of rapidly changing economy. Something transformative is happening in America that is not good for American families. Whether policymakers and politicians are willing to admit it or not, workers spoke loudly and clearly in the last election about their economic insecurity and desire to keep good jobs in America.

Read on at the SOURCE

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