ERIC Number: ED219542
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-May-25
Reference Count: N/A
Advances in Automation Prompt Concern over Increased U.S. Unemployment.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.
The General Accounting Office recently studied automation, especially the advent of microelectronics, and its impact on unemployment. The study included identifying available information sources and obtaining opinions on the impact of automation on employment, federal efforts to predict its impact, the dissemination of information about the job outlook in the United States, and existing mechanisms for getting the displaced worker into gainful employment. The study found that automation (1) reduces the number of people required to perform the same tasks, causing displacement of people; (2) changes the nature of tasks performed by people who retain their positions; and (3) creates new occupations and increases the number of jobs in existing occupations in the same or other industries. The GAO also found that the Department of Labor forecasts there will be increased jobs despite automation, although it is impossible to measure the overall net impact. Debate arises on these predictions because of uncertainty of the rate at which new technology is going to be implemented, complexities of the issues affecting unemployment, and an absence of comprehensive data on the net change in unemployment that has occurred because of automation. The report also predicted that displacement would affect persons with high-level skills with above-average incomes, as well as those in entry-level, low-income jobs. The study concluded that little information is available about what happens to those who are displaced, and that this area should continue to be monitored. (KC)
Descriptors: Automation, Employment Practices, Employment Problems, Employment Projections, Job Layoff, Job Placement, Labor Market, Labor Needs, Labor Supply, Technological Advancement, Unemployment
U.S. General Accounting Office, Document Handling and Information Services Facility, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20760 (First five free; thereafter $3.25 each, bound; $1.00 each, unbound; quantity discounts available).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.