Quantcast
Connect with us

Technology, not trade, is invading nearly all US jobs, even lower skilled: study

Published

on

Forget robots. The real transformation taking place in nearly every workplace is the invasion of digital tools.

The use of digital tools has increased, often dramatically, in 517 of 545 occupations since 2002, with a striking uptick in many lower-skilled occupations, according to a study released Wednesday by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. (Study: http://brook.gs/2mn6g9z)

The report underscores the growing need for workers of all types to gain digital skills and explains why many employers say they struggle to fill jobs, including many that in the past required few digital skills. There is anxiety about automation displacing workers and in many cases, new digital tools allow one worker to do work previously done by several.

Those 545 occupations reflect 90 percent of all jobs in the economy. The report found that jobs with greater digital content tend to pay more and are increasingly concentrated in traditional high-tech centers like Silicon Valley, Seattle and Austin, Texas. (Graphic: http://tmsnrt.rs/2zDADhu)

The report used U.S. Department of Labor data to assign a rating of zero to 100 to each occupation, reflecting the amount that each required use of digital technology. The average score for all occupations rose from 29 in 2002 to 46 in 2016, a 59 percent increase.

ADVERTISEMENT

Some jobs, especially higher-paying service occupations, have long used digital tools and that continued to grow, the study found. At the same, many jobs that had little or no digital content in 2002 have now become far more likely to require those skills.

Warehouse workers who move around freight saw their average score rise from 5 in 2002 to 25 in 2016. These workers now use handheld devices to track inventories and devices that sound an alarm if they try to put a box into the wrong truck.

The study found the digital score for roofers jumped from zero to 22, while for parking lot attendants it rose from 3 to 26.

ADVERTISEMENT

“What we found is that the more digital a job is, on balance the better the pay—and also the less chance there is for total displacement of your job,” said Mark Muro, a senior fellow at Brookings and coauthor of the report.

Software developers, the top-ranked occupation for digital skills in both 2002 and 2016, saw their rating slip to 94 from 97. Muro speculates that as that field has matured, there are more rolls for software developers to work as managers of other software developers, which mean doing less direct programming work.

At the other extreme are jobs like those done by Steve Engle, a 53-year-old factory worker at Cummins Inc’s engine plant in Seymour, Indiana.

ADVERTISEMENT

One of his tasks is to insert 56 bolts on the flywheel housing of each engine as it moves down the line and tighten the bolts in a certain sequence. He now uses a tool that is connected to a computer screen, which guides him to the right bolt and will not allow him to tighten the wrong one. It also knows exactly when the bolt is tight enough and then stops.

“This tool won’t let me do it wrong,” he said.

(Reporting by Timothy Aeppel in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)


Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

‘Clear and present racism’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Mika say Kellyanne Conway should have been ‘fired on the spot’ for slurring reporter

Published

on

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were astonished by Kellyanne Conway's response to a reporter asking about President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four first-year lawmakers.

The White House senior adviser asked Breakfast Media White House correspondent Andrew Feinberg, who is Jewish, about his ethnicity after he asked Conway what countries Trump was telling the Democratic congresswomen to return.

"I won't draw any parallels with any fascist countries, but what happened yesterday in a press gaggle has nothing to do with the United States of America," Scarborough said, "and in any other administration over the past 240 years, a person that did what Kellyanne Conway did yesterday would have been fired on the spot. By the time she left the press gaggle and went back into the White House, they would have already packed up her belongings and would have told her leave by the back door and never talk to us again."

Continue Reading

Facebook

Elon Musk shows off progress on brain-machine interface

Published

on

Futurist entrepreneur Elon Musk late Tuesday revealed his secretive Neuralink startup is making progress on an interface linking brains with computers, and said they hope to begin testing on people next year.

Musk has long contended that a neural lace meshing minds with machines is vital if people are going to avoid being so outpaced by artificial intelligence that, under the best of circumstances, humans would be akin to "house cats."

Musk and members of the Neuralink team laid out progress they have made on their mission at an event held in San Francisco to recruit talent in software, robotics, neuroscience and more.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Two Texas Republicans in Congress were outraised as national Democratic offensive kicks off in Texas

Published

on

Two potentially vulnerable Texas Republicans in Congress were outraised — and a few others saw seriously funded challengers — as the first major fundraising deadline passed in a cycle where national Democrats have built an expansive battlefield here, targeting six seats.

In the second quarter, Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, fell short of Democratic challenger Sri Preston Kulkarni, $378,000 to $421,000. Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, raised less than Democratic opponent Kim Olson, $225,000 to $279,000, before making a large loan to his campaign. And a few other GOP incumbents posted strong numbers — but so did Democrats running to unseat them, in a couple cases outpacing the officeholders after they entered the race mid-fundraising cycle.

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

close-image