Saving The Middle Class – Jobs, Robots – Automation and the ‘New Artisans’

There’s considerable angst these days about increasing income disparity in the USA and the decline of the middle class. Robots, automation, and technological unemployment are a part of the public discussion these days. There are those who believe technology is a solution to our employment problems, and those who seem to see technology in general, and robots and automation in particular as a threat.

Can “New Artisan” jobs save the middle class? (Here Are The Jobs That Will Survive The Robot Revolution – Joe Weisenthal)

Describing these new artisan jobs in the New York Times, David Autor and David Dorn wrote:

“The outlook for workers who haven’t finished college is uncertain, but not devoid of hope. There will be job opportunities in middle-skill jobs, but not in the traditional blue-collar production and white-collar office jobs of the past. Rather, we expect to see growing employment among the ranks of the “new artisans”: licensed practical nurses and medical assistants; teachers, tutors and learning guides at all educational levels; kitchen designers, construction supervisors and skilled tradespeople of every variety; expert repair and support technicians; and the many people who offer personal training and assistance, like physical therapists, personal trainers, coaches and guides. These workers will adeptly combine technical skills with interpersonal interaction, flexibility and adaptability to offer services that are uniquely human.”

(How Technology Wrecks the Middle Class –  David Autor and David Dorn – The New York Times)

Do you buy the proposition that the reduction or elimination of farm hands, warehouse workers, IT workers, lab assistants, stock traders, manufacturing assembly workers, quality assurance analysts, and many more job types on a wholesale basis over the next two decades will be offset by the creation of new artisan jobs?



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