Technological progress has been the catalyst behind the increases in living standards across time. One aspect of technological progress is automation. Automation, more than other technologies, has significant effects on the labor force. From World War II until now, routine tasks have largely been automated. Perceptive tasks have belonged mainly to the domain of human labor until very recent innovations. These innovations may change the labor force, as new employment opportunities will not replace jobs as quickly as the old ones are automated. The number of labor hours needed to produce the goods in the U.S. economy will soon decrease significantly. This has both short-term and long-term implications. In the short-term, those with the right skills will benefit financially, while those with the wrong skills will not reap this bountiful harvest. In response to this, it is imperative to continually educate society to match skills with the level of technology. In the long-term, it is theoretically possible to automate all of human labor. If that occurs, then the economic problem would be solved, and resources could be distributed equally.
Major Themes in Economics
©2014 by Major Themes in Economics
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"Automation and the Labor Force,"
Major Themes in Economics, 16, 65-79.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/mtie/vol16/iss1/7