This report discusses how digitalization is vastly expanding the potential of the American economy, and generating opportunities for many. However, it is stated that the construction of an inclusive labor market as digitalization proceeds won’t happen by itself. Instead, it will require significant improvements in digital education and training, both to broaden the high-skill talent pipeline and ensure that underrepresented groups can connect to an increasingly digital economy. In addition, it is going to be important for workers to get better at being “what we are that computers aren’t.”
Key findings include:
- Though digitalization is an ongoing trend, the U.S. economy has digitalized rapidly over the last decade.
- The degree and pace of digitalization vary widely across occupations and industries.
- Digitalization is associated with increased pay for many workers and reduced risk of automation, but it is also helping to “hollow out” job creation and wages by favoring occupations at the high and low ends of the pay scale while disfavoring those in the middle.
- The extent of digitalization also varies widely across places and is strongly associated with variations in regional economic performance.
- Digitalization is changing the skills needed to access economic opportunity while creating new race- and gender-based access challenges.
Muro, M., Liu, S., Whiton, J., & Kulkarni, S. (2017). Digitalization and the American workforce. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution. https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/mpp_2017nov15_digitalization_full_report.pdf