Report

The Geography of the Future of Work in US – A mosaic of local economies on diverging trajectories

A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute, The future of work in America: People and places, today and tomorrow (PDF–4.41MB), analyzes more than 3,000 US counties and 315 cities and finds they are on sharply different paths. Automation is not happening in a vacuum, and the health of local economies today will affect their ability to adapt and thrive in the face of the changes that lie ahead.

Much of the research on automation, including our own, has focused on the potential for job displacement and has taken a national-level view. This report looks beneath the national numbers to examine the present and potential future of work for different people and places across America. Local economies across the country have been on diverging trajectories for years, and they are entering the automation age from different starting points. Our view incorporates the current state of local labor markets as well as the jobs that could be lost and gained in the decade ahead.

— Our analysis of 315 cities and more than 3,000 counties shows that the United States is a mosaic of local economies with widening gaps between them. Twenty- five megacities and high-growth hubs, where 96 million people live, have generated most of the nation’s job growth since the Great Recession. These are the nation’s most dynamic places, with high-growth industries, many high-wage jobs, and young, educated workers but notable inequality. By contrast, 54 trailing cities and roughly 2,000 rural counties, collectively home to 78 million people, have older and shrinking workforces, higher unemployment, and lower educational attainment. Between these extremes are thriving niche cities and a larger “mixed middle” with modest economic growth; 94 million people live in these segments.

— These diverse starting points affect whether communities will have the momentum to offset automation-related displacement. The same 25 cities and peripheries that led the post-recession recovery could capture 60 percent of US job growth through 2030. The mixed middle and trailing cities are positioned for modest job gains, but rural counties could see a decade of flat or even negative net job growth. These shifts are occurring when geographic mobility is at historic lows.

— The next wave of automation will affect occupations across the country, displacing many office support, food service, transportation and logistics, and customer service roles. At the same time, the economy will continue to create jobs, particularly roles in healthcare, STEM fields, and business services, as well as work requiring personal interaction. While there could be positive net job growth at the national level, new jobs may not appear in the same places, and the occupational mix is changing. The challenge will be in addressing local mismatches and help workers gain new skills.

— Labor market outcomes vary across demographic groups today, and automation could amplify these patterns. Individuals with a high school degree or less are four times more likely to hold highly automatable roles than those with bachelor’s degrees. Given educational disparities, Hispanic and African-American workers may be hit hardest, with 12 million displaced. Nearly 15 million jobs held by young people could be lost, raising questions about career pathways. Workers over age 50 hold an additional 11.5 million at-risk jobs. The share of middle- wage jobs may shrink as growth concentrates at the high and low ends of the wage scale.

— Employers seeking to make the most of automation for innovation and productivity will need to manage complex transitions. The challenges vary depending on the nature, mix, and geographic footprint of their workforces, as we illustrate through profiles of six types of employers. The questions facing a retail or food chain with a distributed customer-facing workforce, for example, are not the same as those for an employer with a geographically concentrated white-collar workforce. All employers will need to make adept decisions about strategy, investment, technology, workflow redesign, talent needs and training, and the potential impact on the communities in which they operate.

— Communities need to prepare for this wave of change, focusing in particular on job matching and mobility, skills and training, economic development and job creation, and support for workers in transition. They can draw on a common toolbox of solutions, but the priorities vary from place to place—from affordable housing in major cities to digital infrastructure that enables remote work in rural counties.

Without bold, well-targeted interventions, automation could further concentrate growth and opportunity. But these trends are not set in stone. It is possible to turn this period of technological change into an occasion to create more rewarding jobs and build better learning systems and career pathways. The United States needs the energy and ingenuity of its private and public sectors, as well as local coalitions working on the ground in communities. A fresh commitment to investing in people and places can lift up more Americans from coast to coast.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Future of work in America | McKinsey

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The Future of Work – Jobs matter and labour markets do not stand still

Jobs matter. For almost all of us, they are more than a source of income, extending to the provision of opportunities for social interaction; a source of self-esteem; or a feeling of contribution to a profession or community. From an economy-wide viewpoint, growing employment rates and higher labour market participation are primary sources of improved … Continue reading

The Future of Work in the Automotive Sector – Deteriorating employment and working conditions.

This summary report on the future of work in the automotive sector focuses on the major changes facing the sector. These include: the rise of emerging economies, new mobilities, the “greening” of the product, and the digitalization of production. This is in order to identify the main challenges for employment and industrial relations and to … Continue reading

The Future of Work – Four ways work will change

Speakers at “The Future of Work,” an all-day symposium held at Stanford’s Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center on August 30, explored the changing workplace, new possibilities for higher education, and technology’s impact on careers and industries. The event, attended by about 300 people, was presented by Stanford Career Education and OZY EDU, the education arm of … Continue reading

The Future of Work in Europe – A union perspective

“Yes we can, but no we’re not” Just before the final plenary session, the conference’s ‘themeweaver’ Jacki Davis summarised three days of intense discussion on ‘shaping the new world of work’. “The stakes could not be higher,” she stated, in an economy witnessing increased robotisation and digitalisation. The reshaping of the world of work brings … Continue reading

The Future of Work – A false alarmism that contributes to a culture of risk aversion and holds back technology adoption

In this study we use a novel and comprehensive method to map out how employment is likely to change, and the implications for skills. We show both what we can expect, and where we should be uncertain. We also show likely dynamics in different parts of the labour market — from sectors like food and … Continue reading

Future of Work – Future Skills by the Australian Industry Skills Committee

The Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) commissioned the Future Skills and Training Resource to gather and analyse data on Australian and international megatrends, their potential impact on Australia’s future workforce and the implications for vocational education and training.  It complements existing data sources and Industry Reference Committee (IRC) intelligence. It is a practical resource intended to … Continue reading

The future of work is there for us to make ILO says

Future of Work in US – 58% say there should be limits on the number of jobs that businesses can replace with machines

Americans are apprehensive about a future in which machines take on more of the work now done by humans, and most are supportive of policies aimed at cushioning the economic impact of widespread automation, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The vast majority of Americans (85%) say they would support restricting workforce automation … Continue reading

The Future of Work – Erica Groshen, former head of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on

There is growing attention being paid to the future of work, and concern that changing work relationships—for example, independent contractors, contract agency workers, gig workers, app-based workers, etc.—are evolving faster than BLS can develop the tools to measure. How has BLS considered collecting data to document these forms of work? The main thing BLS has … Continue reading

The Future of Work – Artificial Intelligence (AI) won’t replace most jobs but people using it are starting to replace people who don’t

As AI is increasingly applied to knowledge work, a significant shift will likely take place in the workplace, affecting many jobs in the Western middle class. Contrary to recent dire predictions about AI’s effect on employment, our survey suggests cautious optimism. Most respondents, for example, do not expect that AI will lead to a reduction … Continue reading

The Future of Work – 95% believe they need new skills to stay relevant at work

Digital has already delivered a major blow to businesses slow to respond. There’s more to come. The very concept of work is being redefined as different generations enter and exit the workforce amidst a rapidly changing technological landscape. Responsive and responsible leaders at the very highest levels of the organization must act to harness the … Continue reading

The Future of Work – The Middle East and North Africa

Education and work in the Middle East and North Africa region will determine the livelihoods of over 300 million people and drive growth and development for generations to come. As one of the youngest populations in the world, it is imperative that the region make adequate investments in education and learning that hold value in … Continue reading

The Future of Work – Launch of the ILO’s Global Commission

The Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven and the President of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, along with the ILO Director-General Guy Ryder launched a Global Commission on the Future of Work today at the International Labour Organization’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at B-roll: Launch of the ILO’s Global … Continue reading

The Future of Work – Where the robots are in US : A map

The Metro program has followed the lead of economists Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo who, in a recent paper, deployed sales data from International Federation for Robotics (IFR) to explore trends in the installation of robots in U.S. and international work places. Although Acemoglu and Restrepo’s paper has been controversial in its modeling of large … Continue reading

The future of Work – Adaptability is the key

One clear lesson arises from our analysis: adaptability – in organisations, individuals and society – is essential for navigating the changes ahead. It’s impossible to predict exactly the skills that will be needed even ve years from now, so workers and organisations need to be ready to adapt – in each of the worlds we … Continue reading

The Future of Work – A framework for understanding 

What are the components that collectively constitute “the future of work”? Perhaps the logical place to begin is with the forces that are driving these changes (figure 1). Based on our experience and research, we have identified three forces that are shaping the nature of future work and the future workforce: Technology. Technological advances—for example, … Continue reading

The Future of Work and Automation – The policy implications

The adoption of new technology and new work practices poses particular challenges to both business and policy makers. What are the key priorities they should look to address? Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The digital future of work: Policy implications of automation | McKinsey & Company Related Posts The Future of … Continue reading

The Future of Work – What automation will change

Technology experts and economists are engaged in a growing debate about the effect of automation technologies in the workplace. Some “techno-pessimists” are concerned about the mass destruction of jobs, while “techno-optimists” see considerable productivity gains for the economy that will in turn help create new work opportunities. Technology in the past has tended to create … Continue reading

The Future of Work – The skills that will count

For young people today, what’s clear is that they’re going to need to continue to learn throughout their lifetime. The idea that you get an education when you’re young and then you stop and you go and work for 40 or 50 years with that educational training and that’s it—that’s over. All of us are … Continue reading

Cashiers, The Future of Work and Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods

Amazon’s $13.4 billion purchase of Whole Foods, announced Friday, could speed that vision along. Amazon has already made shopping for almost everything involve spending less time waiting, doing work or interacting with people, and now it could do the same for groceries. It’s already trying with a store in Seattle, Amazon Go, that has no … Continue reading

Future of work – ILO’s Symposium highlights

Highlights from the Symposium featuring voices from the world of work, leading thinkers in government and academia, and the youth on the challenges we’ll face in the Future of Work. Related Posts Education, Training and The Future of Work – Five majors issues POSTED BY MICHEL COURNOYER ⋅ MAY 4, 2017 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT Some … Continue reading

Education, Training and The Future of Work – Five majors issues

Some 1,408 responded to the following question, sharing their expectations about what is likely to evolve by 2026: In the next 10 years, do you think we will see the emergence of new educational and training programs that can successfully train large numbers of workers in the skills they will need to perform the jobs … Continue reading

The Future of Work – What do we want ? (video)

Highlights from award-winning economic historian Robert Skidelsky giving a keynote address about the future of work with remarks by ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

The future of work – The major trends

Gender gap in participation rates is not expected to improve over the coming 15 years Few countries combine an environmentally sustainable footprint with decent work Declining labour force participations rates will exacerbate demographic changes Migration is likely to intensify in the future as decent work deficits remain widespread Global supply chain related jobs go well … Continue reading

Future of Work – We are not facing an employment crisis but a work revolution the World Employment Confederation (International Confederation of Private Employment Services) says

The World Employment Confederation (formerly Ciett) looks into the future of work and urges policymakers to cooperate with the employment industry to determine enhanced international labour regulation As the world of work becomes increasingly flat and interconnected, new global labour policies and regulation are required to deal with issues that go beyond national or regional … Continue reading

Technology, jobs, and the future of work – Several solution spaces to consider

Automation, digital platforms, and other innovations are changing the fundamental nature of work. Understanding these shifts can help policy makers, business leaders, and workers move forward.  Policy makers will need to address issues such as benfits and variability that these digital platforms can raise. ƒAccelerate the creation of jobs in general through stimulating investment and … Continue reading

Robots and the future of work – Interview with Professor Richard Freeman (video)

Freelance economy and the future of work 

Are these types of platforms an economic boon to workers who want a flexible way togenerate income? Or are they the latest sign of worsening income inequality and a fraying safety net for workers? The answer is a little bit of both. Recent research from the McKinsey Global Institute examined the economic potential associated with … Continue reading

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