Friday, April 25, 2014

Nice set of 3 videos to teach Structural Unemployment due to technological change. Where did the jobs go? Oh, I see now...

When teaching Structural Unemployment it is quite common for teachers to use the auto manufacturing sector as a prime example of how advancements in technology reduce the need for assembly line workers.

I am not sure students today, who are used to technology and likely do not have parents who work on an assembly line, understand how significant the changes have been over just the past 100 years.

Here are a series of 3 videos that show the progression of technology and processes that went into making vehicles.

I find the one from 1936 the most intriguing.  I was surprised by the high level of mechanical engineering in the technology used on the assembly line.

It is interesting to compare/contrast the levels of employment you see in each of the time periods and the tasks that people performed.  You can vividly see how jobs were automated out of existence over time.

Very early 1900's:

From 1936:

Very recent video of a BMW facility (I think in Spartenburg, South Carolina)

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