May 8, 2017 - Economy

Reality check: Technology is killing fewer jobs than ever

Despite widespread fears that artificial intelligence and automation will create mass unemployment, job losses due to technology are at historic lows, according to an analysis published Monday by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

The stats: Levels of occupational churn in the United States — defined as the rates at which some occupations expand while others contract — are lower during this decade than at any point since the 1850s.

Data: Information Technology & Innovation Foundation; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Sound smart: Despite the potential for unprecedented labor-market displacement brought on by recent developments in artificial intelligence, a central problem of the economy today is actually too little displacement, as evidenced by statistics showing slow productivity growth. Without gains in productivity that result from the application of new technologies to business, the value an individual worker produces can't rise significantly, and that means that his wages likely won't rise, either.

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