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How digitalization is impacting U.S. jobs
Eli Dile   on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 9:00:00 am

Competency in digital technology – such as computer software – is becoming a requirement for more and more jobs, even those in traditional blue-collar industries. Since 2010, 30 percent of all new jobs required a high degree of technical skill. Digitalization and the American Workforce, a report from the Brookings Institution, examines the geographic and occupational scope of this trend. The report identifies jobs that now require high, medium, and low digital skills, and offers five key takeaways.

  1. The U.S. economy is digitalizing at an extremely rapid pace. From 2002 to 2016, the share of jobs that required at least a medium level of digital skills grew from 45 to 71 percent.

  2. The degree and pace of digitalization varies widely among occupations and across industries. On the high end of digitalization are professional/scientific/technical services, media, finance, and insurance. On the low end are education, transportation, warehousing, basic goods manufacturing, and construction.

  3. Digitalization is associated with increased pay and job resiliency in the face of automation, but also vastly uneven trends for job growth and wages.Wages are polarizing, rewarding those with medium-to-high digital competency and holding back those without such skills.

  4. Metropolitan area digitalization is ubiquitous, but uneven. Although all metro areas saw their mean digitalization scores increase, those in high-performing economies grew at a greater rate.

  5. Digitalization is changing the skills needed to access economic opportunity while creating new race- and gender-based access challenges. To deliver upward mobility for women and minorities, workforce development will need to provide more digital-skills education.


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