I’ve mentioned before the role efficiency and automation are having in the jobless recovery. I just saw this article in the NYT titled: More Jobs Predicted for Machines, Not People. It is worth reading, but you’ll need to sign up (free) for access.
Between the use of fewer traditional formal employees by the reliance on alternative work structures and the use of advanced technology to automate people out of normal, we’re definitly seeing an effect on employment during the recovery. This article states that “Many workers, in short, are loosing the race against the machine.”
The article referenced the central theme of Race Against the Machine an e-book that came out last week. It has some insightful analysis of automation historically and in the future.
My own view is that we’ve seen technology replace jobs in the past, but it usually freed people from mundane tasks to activities requiring higher levels of creativity -- Granted their skillset may need to change to take advantage of the new roles. It can be a case of “change the people, or change the people”. As the ebook author states: “the key to winning the race is not to compete against machines but to compete with machines.”