May 10, 2019

The OECD calls for urgent digital skill training

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The new age of automation will push thousands of people out of work across advanced economies, but only a few countries are well-cushioned against the hit, according to a new report.

By the numbers: 1 of 8 American workers and 1 of 7 Europeans is highly vulnerable to automation and require retraining, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

  • The U.S. is well positioned in terms of the opportunity for workers to obtain new skills and retrain.
  • But, compared with other advanced economies, Americans are currently only somewhat prepared for a time when digital skills will be paramount.

To thrive in the new economy, workers must be immersed in the technologies around them, from using email and smartphones to learning something about coding, the report says. “It is urgent for countries to focus on building the skills of workers whose jobs are at high risk of automation.”

  • Countries that are already doing this are mainly in northern Europe — Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.
  • Those that are least prepared include Chile, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Slovak Republic and Turkey.
  • The U.S. is more or less in the middle, the OECD says.

Go deeper

Trump calls to fill up more places with oil

President Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil, in the wake of rock-bottom prices and an ensuing economic collapse of the sector itself.

Driving the news: Trump’s comments came Friday during a televised portion of a meeting he hosted with industry CEOs to discuss ways to help the sector. It’s reeling from a historic drop-off in demand with the world shutting down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 1,083,084 — Total deaths: 58,243 — Total recoveries: 225,422Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 266,671 — Total deaths: 6,921 — Total recoveries: 9,445Map.
  3. 2020 latest: Wisconsin governor calls for last-minute primary election delay.
  4. Oil latest: The amount of gasoline American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

America's small business bailout is off to a bad start

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Websites have crashed, phones are jammed and confusion reigns as businesses rushed at today's kickoff to get their chunk of the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program.

Why it matters: This is a race to save jobs in the present and the future, and to ensure that as many workers as possible keep their benefits and paychecks during the coronavirus lockdown.