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Technology, jobs, and the future of work

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The world of work is in a state of flux, which is causing considerable anxiety—and with good reason. There is growing polarization of labor-market opportunities between high- and low-skill jobs, unemployment and underemployment especially among young people, and stagnating incomes for a large proportion of households and income inequality. Migration and its effects on jobs has become a sensitive political issue in many advanced economies. And from Mumbai to Manchester, public debate rages about the future of work, and whether there will be enough jobs to gainfully employ everyone.

The development of automation enabled by technologies including robotics and artificial intelligence brings the promise of higher productivity (and with productivity, economic growth), increased efficiencies, safety, and convenience, but these technologies also raise difficult questions about the broader impact of automation on jobs, skills, wages, and the nature of work itself. Many activities that workers carry out today have the potential to be automated. At the same time, job matching sites such as LinkedIn and Monster are changing and expanding the way individuals look for work and companies identify and recruit talent. Independent workers are increasingly choosing to offer their services on digital platforms including Upwork, Uber, and Etsy and, in the process, challenging conventional ideas about how and where work is undertaken.

Source : McKinsey Global Institute

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