The economics of industry 4.0

Historically, concerns about technological unemployment have proved unwarranted. Instead, technology has created more new jobs than it has destroyed old ones and contributed to higher labour productivity and higher real wages. However, routine-based jobs are more vulnerable to loss by automation than jobs requiring high levels of communication which are more likely to be done by university-educated workers.  This is why European countries with little investment in information and communication technologies, poorer scores in maths, science and reading skills, lower tertiary educational attainment and weaker focus on communicative tasks in their workplace organisation are at higher risk of technological unemployment.

In light of this development, a new briefing from EPICENTER calls for education reform introducing more competition and diversity across school systems, and deregulation of employment conditions to be able to better adapt to changing work patterns.

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