Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

An automated car production line at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Russia (HMMR) car manufacturing plant in St Petersburg. Photo: Peter Kovalev / TASS via Getty Images

Leading economists are increasingly scaling back the most apocalyptic forecasts of job losses resulting from the new age of automation. In a major report, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the research and policy grouping of the world’s richest nations, says 10% of U.S. jobs are at high risk of vanishing to automation — much lower than most prior forecasts.

Why it matters: The benchmark for such scholarship is a landmark 2013 study by two Oxford University economists, who said automation could wipe out 47% of American jobs. So, to the degree the new report is a better reflection of the future, it's good news for American workers. 

But there's still trouble ahead: The OECD economists arrive at a relatively high number of overall jobs at risk — about 38% of American jobs. They say that just 10% will be entirely vaporized, while about 28% will be transformed into new positions requiring a clutch of new skills. 

  • In order for that 28% of workers to keep those jobs, they will need to undergo retraining.
  • A paradox: Workers with the least-automatable jobs are far more willing to undergo training and new formal education than those whose jobs are at risk.
  • "Workers in fully automatable jobs are more than three times less likely to have participated in on-the-job training, over a 12-months period, than workers in non-automatable jobs," the study says.  

A front-page Financial Times article about the study today notes (subscription): "The report shows that worries about 'massive technological unemployment' are to some extent overblown ... Instead the risks are of 'further polarisation of the labour market' between highly paid workers and other jobs that may be 'relatively low paid and not particularly interesting.'"

  • That aligns with remarks last month by David Autor, an MIT economist, who told Axios that people ought to focus less on how many jobs will be wiped out, and more on how much current and future jobs will pay.

Another red flag: Such studies don't have a stellar record for accuracy, says Andrew McAfee, a leading MIT researcher and co-author of "The Second Machine Age," tells Axios: "I am not disparaging this report, but the track record of predicting job growth and job losses is poor."

  • The bottom line: "There will be lots of [job] destruction and lots of creation," McAfee said. "That's what we know from periods of technological change as profound as this one."

Go deeper

Trump voices support for Saturday's pro-Capitol riots rally

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Thursday expressed solidarity with people facing prosecution in connection to the Capitol insurrection.

Why it matters: The statement was issued ahead of Saturday's rally to protest the treatment of Capitol rioters. Over 600 known federal defendants face charges related to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Clinton-linked lawyer indicted in investigation of FBI's Russia probe

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

A grand jury has returned an indictment against Michael Sussmann, a lawyer whose firm represented the 2016 Clinton campaign, for lying to the FBI about not representing "any client" when he presented them with allegations about a secret Trump Organization back-channel to a Russian bank.

Why it matters: It's the second criminal charge stemming from special counsel John Durham's review of possible misconduct by the intelligence community and prosecutors who investigated the 2016 Trump campaign's ties to Russia.

Federal judge blocks Biden administration's use of Title 42 policy

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a public health order that fast-tracked deportations of migrant families at the southern border.

Why it matters: President Biden has faced significant backlash for retaining the Trump-era policy, which was implemented as a COVID containment measure. The expulsions deny adult migrants and families the chance for asylum.