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Google's Schmidt: Technology Creating Jobs of the Future

By Michelle Smith   |   Wednesday, 11 Sep 2013 08:11 AM

Many people argue that technology destroys jobs, but Google Chairman Eric Schmidt argues technology drives job creation.

At the National Association of Business Economics conference, Schmidt portrayed the tech sector as a definite benefit to the labor market, CNNMoney reported.

"New jobs are not created by small businesses but by new businesses, many of which have a technological component," Schmidt told the audience.

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"Technology will create opportunities for new types of jobs tomorrow," he added.

To recognize this, people might have to change how they analyze the issue. According to Schmidt, the jobs that technology creates may not be of the sort or in the places where critics are looking for them.

Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management and director of the MIT Center for Digital Business, has pointed to the relatively small size of the staffs at tech companies, including Google.

He compared the combined market capitalization of tech majors — Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google — which was about $1 trillion, to their labor force—which was about 190,000.

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania said Brynjolfsson concluded that although tech companies are hugely successful, their job production is minimal and these companies cannot be counted on to create the kinds of jobs the economy needs.

But Schmidt addressed concerns like these pointing to the jobs that technology creates outside of the sector.

Healthcare, transportation, education, and creative industries like movies and music are all sectors that stand to benefit from rapid advances in technology and data analysis, CNNMoney reported he said.

People express concern about computers and robots reducing jobs, but Schmidt claims that human labor is very much in demand. He foresees the labor market moving toward a "collaboration model" where human and machines increasingly work together, Business Insider noted.

He explained that though computers are great for analyzing data, people are needed to make decisions.

"The computer needs someone to talk to," Schmidt said, according to CNNMoney. "Pilots will still fly planes, the elderly will still need caregivers."

Changes in the labor market are likely to occur, he admitted. Workers may have to adapt to more competition as people across the world compete for jobs. And the more technology-driven the world becomes, the harder it will be for low-skilled workers.

"The tail is in trouble," he said. "But give them the tools and the incentives, and anyone can follow this curve up."

Brynjolfsson appeared less optimistic when he addressed the crowd in San Francisco.

"There is no better time than right now to be an entrepreneur who can make use of all these new technologies," he said. "But there is no worse time to be a worker with no special skills, because all of those jobs are being automated," Wharton said he warned.

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Many people argue that technology destroys jobs, but Google Chairman Eric Schmidt argues technology drives job creation.
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2013-11-11
 

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