Tech is eliminating jobs. Is it creating them, too?

New technology features both advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, it makes our world a more interesting place. It improves our lives and allows businesses to get more done in less time. The drawback? New technology inevitably eliminates jobs. The Economist newspaper recently had a look at the double-edged sword of technology.

Jobs

As the Economist story says, new technology has always caused a loss of jobs. This has been true since the dawn of time. The Economist's example? A century ago, one out of three U.S. workers worked on a farm. Nowadays? Less than 2 percent of U.S. workers do any work on a farm.

More productive

Today, farms rely on new technology to produce even more food with fewer workers. That's the good news. The majority of the workers who once toiled on farms were able to land new jobs that were created thanks in part to evolving technology over the years.

Today's challenge

The worry right now, though -- one expressed in the Economist story -- is that this isn't happening. Technology is eliminating plenty of jobs. But it's not creating enough new ones to replace these losses. The Economist says that it's up to the U.S. government to create new education opportunities for displaced workers so that these workers can grab the creative jobs which will make up the new economy. Will this happen? That's the big question.


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