Thursday, March 28, 2013

Nice graph showing the change in "Routine vs Non-Routine" jobs over time. If you are in the first category you need to look over your shoulder. See here why...

This graph blows me away (Source: AEI).  It shows over time, the change in the share of jobs that are "routine" or "non-routine" in nature. 

"Routine" jobs are ones that entail performing tasks that have become so standardized and simple they require very little skill to accomplish.  Labor contributes a relatively small amount to the overall value of the product or service created. They can be replaced by technology to perform the routine tasks or by low wage workers around the world.  

"Non-Routine" jobs are ones that require the labor performed to evolve and actively participate in creating a product or service.  Labor contributes a relatively large amount to the overall value of the product or service created.  Non-routine jobs depend on the use of technology and higher level skills (education) to create that value.

Technology and competition from low wage workers globally can be a substitutes for routine jobs.  Technology and higher level skills are complements to non-routine jobs.

Source: American Enterprise Institute
As you can see from the graph, this trend in the labor market has been going on for a LONG time.

How do we address and change this?  How do we get people to want to stay in school, get additional training, and constantly upgrade their skills to keep up in a changing world.

Dunno.  But seems like that is what we should think about as a country.


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