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The Future of Work: A Guide for Transatlantic Policymakers

December 17, 2018

Future of work will be different for every country, region, worker, and student. This is clear in France, Germany, Spain, and the United States. Policymakers should respond accordingly.

The changing nature of work and labor markets—and how best to prepare people and societies for the jobs of the future—are among the most crucial challenges policymakers will face in coming years. Jobs, tasks, and work itself will evolve at a more rapid pace, affecting each country, region, worker, and student differently. But policymakers have a great deal of agency in shaping policy that “works” for their communities.

In this comprehensive guide for policymakers, ITIF and the Bertelsmann Foundation build a bridge from the voluminous future-of-work research to the core ingredients to weigh in future-of-work policy.

The report identifies four key future-of-work ingredients: economic structure; labor market conditions and supports; social conditions and protections; and skills and worker capacities. It then conducts a transatlantic comparison of future-of-work dynamics. Through a cross-country comparison across four case studies—France, Germany, Spain, and the United States—the report makes the case for more agile public policies that tailor future-of-work policies to the unique characteristics of countries, regions, and individuals. The report finds that, of the four nations, Germany is best prepared for the future, followed by the United States, France, and then Spain.

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