A Closer Look

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Skills – The Great Recession drastically changed what employers want

The employment shift from occupations that require mid-level skills toward those at the high and low ends is one of the most important trends in the U.S. labor market over the past 30 years. Previous research has suggested that a primary driver of this job polarization is something called routine-biased technological change (RBTC), an unfortunate … Continue reading

Canada – Total employment rose by 186,000 (+1.0%) in the first six months of 2017

Economic activity continued to strengthen in the first half of 2017 as household spending, exports and business investment supported growth. Business outlays on non-residential structures, machinery and equipment, and intellectual property assets rose during the first two quarters of the year, following notable declines during 2015 and 2016. Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased for … Continue reading

US – What reasons are given for nonparticipation in the labor force?

While a comprehensive explanation of labor force nonparticipation is outside the scope of this paper, we can gain some insight from self-reported reasons for being out of the labor force.2 In figure 3, we describe the reasons that prime-age men and women give for their nonparticipation. (The percentage in each category is out of the … Continue reading

Union Members in US – Who are they?

As Labor Day approaches, we honor the labor leaders and working people throughout history who have fought for labor protections and a voice on the job. In 2017, unions continue to fight for labor standards and higher wages in traditionally unionized sectors, like manufacturing, along with new industries, like digital journalism. Today’s unions are diverse. … Continue reading

Indian Immigrants in US – 2.4 million in 2015

Immigrants from India first arrived in the United States in small numbers during the early 19th century, primarily as low-skilled farm laborers. In recent decades the population has grown substantially, with 2.4 million Indian immigrants resident in the United States as of 2015. This makes the foreign born from India the second-largest immigrant group after … Continue reading

Gen Z – Managing them

Millennials are no longer the new kids on the block. The oldest members of this often-analyzed, and sometimes fretted about, generation of workers are now in their mid-30s, and have successfully integrated into the workforce. But just as we’ve all learned to work together, there’s a new generation coming of age. Meet Generation Z — … Continue reading

Deindustrialisation in US – Just 35% know that manufacturing output has risen

Manufacturing jobs in the United States have declined considerably over the past several decades, even as manufacturing output – the value of goods and products manufactured in the U.S. – has grown strongly. But while most Americans are aware of the decline in employment, relatively few know about the increase in output, according to a … 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

Mapping Digital Momentum Around the World – 60 Countries’ Digital Competitiveness Index

Digital technologies are poised to change the future of work. Automation, big data, and artificial intelligence enabled by the application of digital technologies could affect 50% of the world economy. There is both anticipation and apprehension about what lies on the other side of the threshold of the “second machine age.” More than 1 billion jobs … Continue reading

Economists – Machine learning can help do their jobs better

Harvard’s Sendhil Mullainathan is one of a small number of economists who has delved into the world of machine learning, the subfield of computer science concerned with using algorithms to learn from data. His research, along with the work of Stanford’s Susan Athey, suggests that while machine learning may not revolutionize economics, it will greatly … Continue reading

Direct Care Workers – The poor are taking care of the poor

A salary of $20,000 for a personal care aide or home health aide is typical, with 90 percent of workers making under $30,000. “A lot of people who look from the outside in think we’re just glorified babysitters, but we’re not,” Brittany Hampton, 31, said. She makes around $800 a month in Washington state near … Continue reading

Higher Education in US – Eight economic facts

The higher education sector itself is an important piece of the U.S. economy. In the fall of 2013, institutions of higher education that participated in Title IV federal financial aid programs employed almost 4 million people. The higher education sector also confers a large advantage to the United States in the global market for talent. … Continue reading

Out-of-Work in US – 11.3 million individuals

Of the combined unemployed and not-in-the-labor-force populations, our goal is to identify those most likely to be interested in or benefit from workforce development assistance. Therefore, we subtracted the following groups: people receiving retirement and disability benefits, most students, and our best estimate of people who choose to be stay-at-home parents with sufficient earnings from … Continue reading

Many activities that workers carry out today have the potential to be automated

Technological change has reshaped the workplace continually over the past two centuries since the Industrial Revolution, but the speed with which automation technologies are developing today, and the scale at which they could disrupt the world of work, are largely without precedent. MGI research on the automation potential of the global economy, focusing on 46 … Continue reading

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