Many American workers have seen their jobs eliminated by technology, and those still holding jobs apparently have reason to worry.
"The increasing use of technology to replace human capital is a trend that will not reverse anytime soon and will continue to proliferate in areas where unskilled, repetitive labor can be automated," Lance Roberts, chief portfolio strategist for STA Wealth Management
, writes in a commentary.
"This is the risk that fast food workers take by lobbying for higher wages. An ordering kiosk can be quickly employed to take orders and deliver those to an automated production line." Or orders can simply be placed through a smartphone application.
So the outlook isn't pretty for employment and income, he cautions.
"The structure of the modern economy has permanently changed. Continued increases in technology will continue to suppress the need for labor, and the competition for available jobs will depress wages."
And you can't blame businesses, Roberts writes. Labor represents the biggest portion of their costs.
"Going forward economists, politicians and Central Bankers are going to have to rethink the role of work, our place in it and the long-term effects on the economy."
Meanwhile, the U.S. private sector added 208,000 jobs in November, marking the seventh month in the last eight with an increase of at least 200,000, according to ADP.
"The labor market is looking pretty good," Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, tells Bloomberg
"The only issue really is the hourly earnings numbers, which remain stubbornly depressed."
Average hourly wages rose only 2 percent in the 12 months through October.
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