Does Information Technology Create More Jobs?

Vending Machine Services in Japan.

Vending Machine Services in Japan.

Information technology revolution crated more jobs in developing countries during 1975-1999, for instance there were 42 million new jobs in the U.S., 11 million jobs in Japan, and 8 million jobs in EU (Castells, 1999). The network economy generates a diverse employing models: part-time, temporary work, self-employment, subcontracting which are representing majority of work force in Italy, U.K., and Netherlands. This evidence supports a promising future that labor forces were not replaced by the machines. In contrast, the new economic system during ICT revolution generated more jobs.

Really?

This was partially true, there was evidence from United States Department of Labour to support that during 1975 to 2000. The unemployment rate had been decreased drastically. In 2000, the unemployment rate was only 4%.

Nevertheless, this might not be the case in 2010 where the unemployment rate was increased to 9.6%. after the economy crisis in 2008. This economy crisis in the U.S. indicates the start of a systemic crisis of neoliberal capitalism and major economic restructuring is likely to follow (Kotz, 2009).

And here is what could be observed today.

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators move through the streets of lower Manhattan near the New York Stock Exchange during a "day of action" in New York, November 17, 2011

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators move through the streets of lower Manhattan near the New York Stock Exchange during a "day of action" in New York, November 17, 2011

The good news is the unemployment rate was decreased to 8.6% in November 2011  which was the lowest it has been in two and a half years.

While I am not sure where are the missing jobs or does information technology really create more jobs? We are living in uncertain world of information revolution.

In those developing countries, I believe machine is replacing workforce. Educators are in urgent to prepare the students to be able to adopt ICTs into their lives and be ready to take opportunities of this new economic platform.

For those developing countries, the new form of economic is approaching. And it is a good time to start reforming the educational system.

Reference:

Castells, M. (1999). The social implications of information and communication technologies. The World Social Science Report. Paris: UNESCO, 236-245.

Kotz, D. M. (2009). The financial and economic crisis of 2008: A systemic crisis of neoliberal capitalism. Review of Radical Political Economics September 2009, 41(3), 305-317.

 

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About bankcolumbia

Graduate Student . M.A. Instructional Technology and Media . Teachers College . Columbia University . ac3344@columbia.edu View all posts by bankcolumbia

One response to “Does Information Technology Create More Jobs?

  • Christina R.

    I’m really glad you brought this up.

    To be frank, I don’t know the answer to whether ICT creates/crushes more jobs. I would like to think the former, but as you pointed out, the numbers say otherwise.

    However, putting numbers aside, you are absolutely right in that educators need to strengthen and/or re-prioritize educational reform to keep students not only up-to-date with ICTs, but also equipped with the skills to project what they may need to acquire throughout their lives.

    ICTs are great if people are comfortable and efficient as using them–they are foreign if not understood or appreciated. Unfortunately there currently too much hype on the devices and their features and not too much information on how to channel their uses for long term purposes.

    Thank you for the post!! 🙂

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