U.S. should take care of people who lost jobs to automation By Janet Nguyen and David Brancaccio
With the advances in technology that we’re seeing, many people are worried about a coming robopocalypse.
Half of today’s work activities could be automated by 2055, according to a report from McKinsey Global Institute released last year. And we’re already seeing some of the consequences in areas like the manufacturing industry, where about 5 million jobs have been lost since 2000.
As these threats loom, a project called GenForward surveyed millennials across different racial groups to find out more about their experiences with technology.
In this survey, GenForward asked how worried millennials are about their job prospects and whether they think the government should have a role in helping displaced workers.
Worries about holding down a job
People of color are especially concerned or at least somewhat concerned about being able to find a job in their line of work as technology progresses.
Keep in mind that many millennials started entering the job market during the Great Recession.
“There was a kind of contraction in terms of jobs that were available, and then there are also the narratives about technology,” said Cathy Cohen, the lead investigator for GenForward. “I think they have a real fear of being able to find a job — and not just a job, but a good job that can support them and their families in a kind of moment when in fact we see an explosion of AI and robotics and computers taking jobs away.”
About 16 percent of African-American millennials say they’re “very concerned” — the highest figure out of all four racial groups.
While jobs report after jobs report has shown a low overall unemployment rate, the unemployment rate for African-Americans over the past year is at 7.4 percent — twice as high as the white unemployment rate, which stands at 3.7 percent.
“There are many threats to that from discrimination and racism, but now also technology and kind of the outsourcing of jobs to other parts of the world,” Cohen said.
Meanwhile, white millennials are the least worried about technological advances negatively affecting their employment prospects, with just 5 percent of members being “very concerned.”
What advances in technology will mean for jobs overall
Responses shifted a bit when GenForward asked millennials more generally if they think advances will increase or decrease the number of jobs in the U.S.
Read further from source: about the millenial job market