The increasing use of robotics and automation in America tends to worry people, but a new study by Goldman Sachs says this concern is overblown: Technological advances will make some jobs obsolete, but will also open up avenues for new jobs, and maybe even entire new industries, where people can find work.
But the key is getting both policymakers and corporate America on board with helping workers to manage the shift. “We have to find ways of bringing corporations and the government into that risk sharing,” study co-author Steve Strongin told Bloomberg.
Goldman’s report lists several steps to giving workers in old-economy jobs an on-ramp to continued career advancement and earnings potential, including improving education and encouraging companies to invest in more worker training, support for entrepreneurs and freelancers, and making it easier for people to get jobs in up-and-coming professions.
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Automatating a factory process, for instance, might remove a job, but it frees up the worker to learn the skills to prosper in a new job, and Goldman Sachs points out that the types of jobs being developed today require a more dynamic skill set, which means workers that make the transition will be better adapted to the next change in the labor market to come down the pike.