New Productivity Numbers Dispel Myth That Technology is Causing Job Loss

February 7, 2013

WASHINGTON (February 7, 2013) - New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that while domestic manufacturing jobs continue to decrease, productivity is actually going down. In its latest quarterly report released today, the BLS noted that productivity actually decreased 2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

"The connection between technology increases and job loss is a complete myth," notes Robert Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). "Numerous studies have shown that enhanced productivity actually increases employment, while also promoting new product development and business creation."

For example, a report by the Federal Reserve noted that empirical evidence shows that a positive technology shock leads to a reduction in the unemployment rate. Further, in an analysis of the effects of productivity on employment, the OECD found that historically technological advancement has been accompanied not only by higher productivity, but also by higher employment.


"The real problem that we should be focusing on is the fact that the U.S. is increasingly losing the race for innovation and technology advantage to our global competitors," Atkinson adds. "This is far more responsible for the continued stagnation of our economy than any robot. Instead of demonizing technology we need to embrace it by promoting the implementation of new innovations that can increase competitiveness and economic development in all sectors of the domestic economy."


The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank at the cutting edge of designing innovation strategies and technology policies to create economic opportunities and improve quality of life in the United States and around the world. Founded in 2006, ITIF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, non-partisan organization that documents the beneficial role technology plays in our lives and provides fact-based analysis and pragmatic ideas for improving technology-driven productivity, boosting competitiveness, and meeting today's global challenges through innovation. For additional information, visit ITIF at or contact Steve Norton at (202) 626-5758 or [email protected].