With jobless claims approaching 55 million since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and a sluggish recovery , thousands of jobs are unlikely to ever return. Whether that’s because businesses will ultimately shutter (or permanently reduce staff) or industries will be reinvented, there are myriad unknowns when trying to chart projections for the economic future of the U.S. economy. A paper released in May 2020 by the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago projected that 42% of layoffs caused by the pandemic will be permanent . In addition to fewer jobs being available in certain sectors, other employment sectors as a whole are at risk—and many were at risk long before COVID-19. The technology that makes our jobs easier may soon make some jobs scarce. In 1950, the job of elevator operator was among the 270 careers listed on the United States Census. That job title is now extinct, representing the only known instance of an entire occupation being obliterated by automation in the 50 years that followed. The next half-century may be less forgiving. Sophisticated software, robotics, automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and changing trends threaten the livelihoods of everyone from taxi drivers and restaurant servers to computer… Read full this story
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