Advanced Digital Technologies

Have New Technologies Affected Employment from 2011 to 2019?

The ongoing debate about the application of new technologies to various areas has been gaining more attention. Many experts are examining the positive and negative impacts that these technologies might have on society in the short term. The primary concern is the effect on employment. It is projected that job losses due to AI will impact all kinds of workers, not just those in blue-collar jobs, as AI is becoming more and more capable of performing complex cognitive tasks (Coeckelbergh, 2020). However, it raises the question of whether new technologies are currently influencing job creation.

New technologies

New Technologies in an AI Study Deters the Labor Force

Recently, the Bank of Spain published a study analyzing the impact of the latest technological tools on employment. Based on published data there has been a greater use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in employment growth of professional activities. Moreover, the impact has surpassed in those professions with more presence of young people and professionally qualified workers.

The study analyzed data from 15 European countries between the years 2011 and 2019 concluded. This study’s results concluded that AI could lead to a significant loss of jobs. Likewise, it helps dispel fears surrounding the use of new technologies.

These results also support the theory of “skill-biased technological change.” This suggests that using advanced technologies creates a demand for better-skilled workers. As a result, adopting new tools, including AI, can lead to an increase in employment and an increase in wages. Moreover, the study found little evidence of a relationship between relative wages by occupation and potential exposure to new developments in AI.

Regarding the study, there are some differences between the countries that participated. Only a small number of countries experienced a decrease in employment. Economist Michael Webb’s indicator shows a decline in employment rates for Greece. On the other hand, there is little to no change in job numbers for Ireland, Germany, Italy, and Lithuania. Finally, Luxembourg, Estonia, and Belgium are the top three countries with the most jobs created in professions with the highest exposure to AI.

Constant Development in New Technologies

The authors of the research emphasize that AI is currently under constant development. The study’s conclusions may not be valid in the not-too-distant future. Moreover, they recall that AI facilitates the automation of tasks and does not seem to favor the creation of many new jobs.

On the other hand, it is also essential to observe the report “The Future of Work” published by the World Economic Forum. This document also states that in the next five years, we will experience changes due to technological advances.

The report states that in 45 economies (with 673 million jobs), 69 million new jobs will be created, and 83 million jobs will be eliminated. If the forecasts are fulfilled, it will mean a 2% decrease in current employment. 

Finally, and with a view to the near future, it is vital to receive training in the era of digital skills. The evolution of the labor market will be marked by inequality between those who have the training and the ability to adapt to a new technological environment and those who, on the contrary, do not have access to these digital skills.

Albanesi, S., Dias da Silva, A., Jimeno, J. F., Lamo, A., & Wabitsch, A. (2023). New technologies and jobs in Europe. Bank of Spain.

Coeckelbergh, M. (2020). AI Ethics. MIT Press. 

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