CBS News has done some good reporting about automation and how it will radically change the modern workplace, and its latest story makes the point that America remains clueless about the approaching jobs disaster.
The following clip from CBS News discussed an article from Axios.com titled The Coming Jobs Apocalypse with author Steve LeVine. He says, “We’re not prepared at all” for the changes coming to the workplace, also observing, “The biggest takeaway is that the future is now.”
He had a higher estimate for driving jobs than what we usually hear: “There are seven and a half million Americans who rely on driving for their livelihood and remember one other thing — driving has been the traditional route for poor people, for immigrants to make their way into the middle class and and suddenly in the very near future you’re going to see those jobs wiped out.”
So with those millions of jobs disappearing, America needn’t continue to import immigrant workers, right?
Here’s the Axios article referenced:
The coming jobs apocalypse, Axios, By Steve LeVine, May 23, 2018
Congress and the Trump administration have yet to create a coherent policy response to a widely forecast social and economic tsunami resulting from automation, including the potential for decades of flat wages and joblessness. But cities and regions are starting to act on their own.
What’s happening: In Indianapolis, about 338,000 people are at high risk of automation taking their jobs, according to a new report. In Phoenix, the number is 650,000. In both cases, that’s 35% of the workforce. In northeastern Ohio, about 40,000 workers are at high risk.
In all three places, local officials are attempting to take charge by identifying jobs most at risk, skills most likely to be in great future demand, and how to organize education and industry around a new economy.
● Their gingerly first steps are a snapshot of how economies throughout the advanced countries will have to respond to an already-underway economic disruption that will be of unknown duration and magnitude.
● “This is a national trend that is going to play out locally. This is something the country and really the world is facing right now,” said Rachel Korberg of the Rockefeller Foundation, which funded the reports covering Phoenix and Indianapolis.
The background: The Phoenix and Indianapolis studies were carried out by ShiftLabs, a collaboration of Rockefeller and New America, a think tank. They are responding to forecasts of an utter shakeup of current jobs, forcing vast numbers of workers across fields to learn new skills, often unrelated to their occupation as currently configured.