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Positive report into the future of jobs

A draft report from the New Zealand Productivity Commission examining the impact technology will have on jobs in the future has concluded that the problem is not too much technology, it’s not enough!

In its report, New Zealand, Technology and Productivity, the Commission accepts that the future of work is not certain but it is sure there will undoubtedly be change over the next 10 to 15 years.

It has opened its thoughts for comment however.

Director of the report, Judy Kavanagh said there was little support in the available data for claims that widespread disruption was coming soon.

Ms Kavanagh said that what change was coming would not be at unprecedented levels.

“If the rate of technological change was accelerating, you’d expect to see evidence in the official statistics, such as faster productivity growth, more business start-ups, and more jobs being created and destroyed — but what we see in New Zealand and across the developed world is the opposite,” Ms Kavanagh said.

“Rates of job destruction have actually declined in New Zealand since 2000 and recent rates of job creation are at a similar level to rates in the early 2000s.”

She said technology had many effects on jobs and work, and most of these were positive because “more technology has historically meant more jobs”.

“Technological change may pick up in the future but even so, it will take time to diffuse and affect work in New Zealand. We do a poor job of picking up technology quickly,” Ms Kavanagh said.  

“Regardless of how fast technology improves and spreads, there is much that can be done now to help New Zealanders to adjust to changes in work and employment, and to encourage the beneficial adoption of technology.”

She said the Commission would provide advice on these policy changes in three upcoming draft reports with a final report to be presented to the Government in March 2020.

The Commission’s 78-page first draft report is now available for public and stakeholder review and can be accessed at this PS News link.