Summary of Work of the Past, Work of the Future

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Technology, globalization, demographics and the rise of the gig economy are just a few of the factors that have changed the US labor market. Professor David H. Autor examines the current American job environment in this eye-opening report. He assesses why real wage growth for the non-college-educated employee has shrunk dramatically, while college-educated workers have seen pay increases. Labor specialists and hiring managers will appreciate this insightful study for its thorough appraisal of wage inequality, labor market conditions and US work dynamics.

About the Author

David Autor is an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 



Powerful changes have unfolded in the US labor market since the 1960s. The 1963–1972 period produced rising real wages for both college-educated and non-college-educated workers. From 1973 to 1979, the era of stagflation damaged real wage outcomes across the educational spectrum. But beginning in 1980, a disturbing trend emerged: a sharp decline in real earnings for those without a college pedigree and an upward push on real wages for those with a university diploma.

“Occupational change” has created a bifurcated labor situation...

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