From giant corporations to university libraries to start-up businesses, employers are using rapidly improving technology to do tasks that humans used to do.
That means millions of workers are caught in a competition they can’t win against machines that keep getting more powerful, cheaper and easier to use, the Washington Post reports.
To better understand the impact of technology on jobs, The Associated Press analyzed employment data from 20 countries; and interviewed economists, technology experts, robot manufacturers, software developers, CEOs and workers who are competing with smarter machines.
“Everything that humans can do a machine can do,” says Moshe Vardi, a computer scientist at Rice University in Houston. “Things are happening that look like science fiction.”
In the U.S., more than 1.1 million secretaries vanished from the job market between 2000 and 2010, their job security shattered by software that lets bosses field calls themselves and arrange their own meetings and trips. Over the same period, the number of telephone operators plunged by 64 percent, word processors and typists by 63 percent, travel agents by 46 percent and bookkeepers by 26 percent, according to Labor Department statistics.
Two-thirds of the 7.6 million middle-class jobs that vanished in Europe were the victims of technology...
Does technology also create jobs? Of course. But at nowhere near the rate that it’s killing them off — at least for the foreseeable future.
January 28, 2013
Materially speaking, our planet and our human community is like a giant factory supplying all the material needs to all who live at once on it and in it. And the sooner we short circuit the road that is travelled by millions daily to satisfy the world's material needs, the sooner we will all have more leisure and means for recreation, whether social, intellectual, artistic, or physical. Obviously the less effort we give to the means of life, the more time and energy we have to enjoy the ends of life, according to our individual interpretation. So our scientists and technicians carry the banner of progress for the human race, as they lighten the means and increase our opportunity to enjoy the ends.
The Ellsworth Declaration, 1953
Eurostat estimated that 18.8 million people in the euro zone were unemployed in November, two million more than a year earlier
Worryingly, youth unemployment in the euro zone continued to grow, with 5.8 million people under age 25 classified as jobless in November, up 420,000 from a year earlier.
Unemployment Rises to New High in Euro Zone
By MELISSA EDDY and DAVID JOLLY
New York Times
Published: January 8, 2013