Summary of Toil and Technology

Innovative Technology Is Displacing Workers to New Jobs Rather Than Replacing Them Entirely

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Toil and Technology summary
Contrary to popular belief, computers aren’t eliminating jobs, but they are changing jobs.


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Robots and computers are not the enemies of job creation, but they are changing how work is done and who does it, according to economic innovation expert James Bessen. His brief but insightful article describes how “smart machines” – from automated teller machines to computers that can diagnose breast cancer – are stepping into territories that humans once dominated. But Bessen adroitly points out that while technology has replaced some workers, it has actually generated more and different jobs requiring diverse skill sets. getAbstract recommends his timely report to human resources executives and policy makers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How automation has changed the job landscape;
  • Why technology creates more jobs than it eliminates: and
  • Why a lack of training, rather than the technology itself, is the main culprit behind the stagnant labor market.


While automation has taken jobs from some laborers in certain industries in the United States, it has catapulted many more workers into different posts requiring diverse skill sets. If the past is any indication, however, it can take years for labor markets and training facilities to catch up with technological...
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About the Author

Economic innovation scholar James Bessen is the author of Learning by Doing: The Real Connection Between Innovation, Wages and Wealth.

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