Tech Is Splitting the U.S. Work Force in Two

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By Eduardo Porter / Feb. 4, 2019 / NYTimes

QUOTE

A small group of well-educated professionals enjoys rising wages, while most workers toil in low-wage jobs with few chances to advance.

And yet for all its success in drawing and nurturing firms on the technological frontier, Phoenix cannot escape the uncomfortable pattern taking shape across the American economy: Despite all its shiny new high-tech businesses, the vast majority of new jobs are in workaday service industries, like health care, hospitality, retail and building services, where pay is mediocre.

Economists have a hard time getting their heads around this. Steeped in the belief that technology inevitably leads to better jobs and higher pay, they long resisted the notion that the Luddites of the 19th century, who famously thrashed the weaving machines that were taking their jobs, might have had a point.

The challenge is not the quantity of jobs,” they wrote. “The challenge is the quality of jobs available to low- and medium-skill workers.”

UNQUOTE

(Luddites)


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(RP: This was “news” in 1992. See Robert Reich’s The Work of Nations.