Saturday, February 18, 2017

Job Loss From Technology

       Job loss associated with technological innovation is a common event and although this may hurt young professionals entering a field, this is a necessary growing pain to endure for an overall successful economy.  In fact, with how fast technology evolves, I find it amazing that more jobs have not yet been lost to technology and innovation and the only way to truly stay relevant in a field is to adapt by becoming irreplaceable.  Between 2000 and 2010, the United States lost nearly 5.6 million manufacturing jobs and according to a study by the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State, nearly 85% of these can be attributed to technological change. 
If you take the automotive market as the epitome of technological advances, many of the lower level scut work jobs were replaced by machines that can do their job more efficiently.  In the 1950’s the automotive market was founded on hardworking individuals who established a career around specialized labor. However, in today’s climate, a family can no longer be financially supported in this way because their skills were replaced by well-oiled machines that can do their job in a fraction of the time for less money.  This technology keeps consumer costs lower and more affordable for families to own a car.  This has happened to every industry, although more notable in the automotive industry.
Investment banking, on the other hand, uses simple customer relationship management software, which is much more efficient than a junior banker who may use just a plain spiral notebook and a pen to record vital information from clients.  Say a junior banker gets a call from a client regarding vital details about a new technology Google is developing.  While the tip may mean nothing to him at the time, four months later when he remembers the tip as possibly being relevant, he needs to go back and find it by sifting through the hundreds of pages of his thick notebook to pull up the details of the interaction.  This is the exact task that Chavez says is “begging to be automated.”  Storing, organizing, and accessing information is a process that is made to be done by computers because it simply done with a query search.  While CRM software may create job loss, it allows professionals to focus on dynamic, creative, and skilled tasks that really matter. 
However, many people have a moral compass which directs power away from the use of technology and into the hands of laborers, who are real people supporting real families living real lives.  I believe that the market has changed in a way to support technology and we cannot afford to hold onto things that used to succeed in the past, but now no longer do.  The bottom line is that young professionals will have to adapt.  The only way to isolate yourself from the risk of outsourcing is to learn skills which are not replaceable by computers. 

1 comment:

Bryce Carrasco said...

I do believe that job loss from technological innovation is an inevitable trend that is facing America today. Outsourcing and exploiting foreign labor markets was the predecessor to this automation of direct labor costs. In a capitalist driven society, this job elimination pattern from innovation can be viewed in two lights. One way to look at it is that new technology and software solutions have fundamentally improved many of the ways businesses produce and carry out their day-to-day processes, and that this improvement will ultimately result in positive outcomes for the economy as a whole by increasing productivity and efficiency in general. Another way to look at it is that this trend is an example of the greed and insatiable attitude of business executives and leaders, and that we as a nation are suffering from increased poverty and unemployment as a result of this automation of labor which once was driven by the American workforce. I do not agree with the second viewpoint. In order to stay competitive in an increasingly automated work environment, business leaders must adapt to current times or else they will simply not be able to stay afloat in the current market. While some jobs may be lost as a result of automation, the increase in productivity will ultimately rear its head and result in a more productive workforce that does not allow tradition to get in the way of producing in the best way possible. Capitalism has defined the business environment in America and this is no different. I think that people will adapt to these changes and it can result in more jobs being created because businesses will be more productive and will be expanding as a result of increased efficiency which can create countless amounts of jobs for Americans.