Technology is supposed to make life easier or at least this was what many people thought when they were asked how the future life of a human being will be with the advances in technology. However, just looking at recent trends in the labor market we can imply that the future could be less of the place many people dreamed of. It is enough to just go into any business and you will quickly see how technology has become an integral part of the working environment. Top computer scientists in the US warned that the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and robots in the workplace could cause mass unemployment, rather than simply unlocking productivity gains and freeing us all up to watch TV and play sports. Moreover, by just comparing the same job five years ago to today, it can easily be seen how technology has change the way we work.
Nowadays, whether you are a top-level manager or a simple administrative worker, it is certain that both our lives are impacted by technology that just a few years ago seemed unimageable. Therefore, it is certainly impossible to disregard the huge impact technology has on the labor market and employment trends in modern economy. Computers (AI) influence the labor market by both creating and destroying jobs, but, more than anything, technology is altering the working environment and restructuring the labor market. Meanwhile, recent advances in AI have sparked further the debate on whether humans are at risk of losing their jobs due do further automatization and computerization in the workplace. Nevertheless, the fear that machines will replace humans and thus cause massive unemployment is not a recent issue. Concerns regarding unemployment caused by machines was firstly mentioned as an issue in 1930 by John M.
Keynes(). Ever since the emergence of industrial machines, people have feared that advanced technology will at some point cause unemployment. Nonetheless, there are many economists and experts that ague that this would not happen, because people would be able to adjust to the new conditions in the labor market and basically shift from one type of occupation to another over the years.
Until now, technological advances have introduced new tasks and occupations to humans thus balancing its impact on the labor market. Nonetheless, we cannot ignore the fact the recent breakthroughs in AI have increased in number and could actually have severe consequences on the labor market. Moreover, back in 1983, economist W.
Leontief, predicted that the pace at which technologies change is so rapid that even newly created industries will not be able to cope with the huge labor supply and many workers unable to adjust will therefore become obsolete (). We can conclude that the effect on the labor market depends highly on the relationship between technological advancement and job creation. If technological advances outpace the process of job creation, the concern of Leontief, will materialize.