by Michael Lowrey
From the Winston-Salem Journal:
The majority of today’s food preparation, retail and cashier jobs — the first entry-level employment for many teens and adults — may not exist within a generation because of automation and other technological advancements, according to a study from N.C. State University.
The study, released in advance of this week’s FutureWork forum at the university, projects that Forsyth County could lose 34 percent of its current jobs total by 2040. Those jobs represent 22 percent of the total wages currently earned in the county.
The report’s authors project that automation will result in major job cuts in at least 39 categories that, combined, currently employee about 1.32 million North Carolinians. That’s more than 10 percent of the state’s population.
This is obviously a real issue. That said, job losses to automation will be greater to the degree that we make it more expensive for companies to hire workers. Yes, “living wage” standards, I’m looking at you.