The Robots are Not Taking Our Jobs

September 6, 2013

WASHINGTON (September 6, 2013) - "The robots are responsible," is a common refrain of an increasing share of pundits and scholars to explain America's persistent unemployment. According to this line of thinking, high productivity driven by increasingly powerful, IT-enabled machines is the cause of U.S. labor market problems, and accelerating technological change will only make those problems worse. However, this thesis ignores basic facts related to productivity and employment and fails to acknowledge the positive impact technology has on job growth and income.

To better assess the true role automation and productivity play in determining employment, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will release the report Are Robots Taking Our Jobs, or Making Them? on Tuesday, September 10. It analyzes the "robots are killing our jobs" arguments, shows how they are constructed on faulty analysis, examines the extensive economic literature on the relationship between employment and productivity, and explains the logic of how higher productivity leads to more jobs.

If you would like an embargoed copy of the report please contact ITIF Communications Director William Dube. wdube@itif.org

The report will be unveiled as part of the debate, "Is Technology Responsible for American Job Loss?", which will be held from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM at ITIF, 1101 K St. NW, Suite 610A. It will feature Andrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-author of the book Race Against the Machine, who will argue that technology is leading to job loss and the pace will only speed up. It will also feature Robert Atkinson, President of ITIF and co-author of Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage, who will argue that technology does not lead to net job loss and that America actually needs faster, technologically-based productivity growth. The debate will be moderated by Ed Luce, Chief U.S. Commentator for the Financial Times.

The event is free, open to the public and will be webcast live. For more information or to register visit http://www.itif.org/events/itif-debate-technology-responsible-american-job-loss

###

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at www.itif.org.