The Work of the Future

September 18, 2019

Technology has led to more productivity over the last 40 years, but that hasn't translated into shared prosperity for workers, according to the report. From 1973 to 2016, labor productivity rose by 75%, but workers' compensation only rose by 12%, the report found. And the stagnant earnings hit people of color particularly hard.

Technological change has been reshaping human life and work for centuries. The mechanization that began with the Industrial Revolution enabled dramatic improvements in human health, well-being, and quality of life—not only in the developed countries of the West, but increasingly throughout the world. At the same time, economic and social disruptions often accompanied those changes, with painful and lasting results for workers, their families, and communities. Along the way, valuable skills, industries, and ways of life were lost. Ultimately new and unforeseen occupations, industries, and amenities took their place. But the benefits of these upheavals often took decades to arrive. And the eventual beneficia-ries were not necessarily those who bore the initial costs.