The Software Society

How digital technology is changing our culture and economy

productivity paradox

The Productivity Paradox: Efficiency without Jobs?

A core problem is largely being ignored—a “productivity paradox.” If a company can produce a product or service at less cost, that company has improved its productivity and potentially its profits. But, when a company improves productivity by reducing the number of employees, jobs disappear. For most of modern history, new categories of quality jobs appeared quickly enough to replace the jobs lost. Today, productivity improvements driven by accelerating technology development are destroying jobs faster than good jobs are being created. This leads to an economic problem rather than the boost that productivity has historically given the economy.

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