Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee just published an excellent short (sixty pages, less than twenty thousand words) e-book - Race Against the Machine: How The Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy. Erik Brynjolfsson is a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and director of the MIT Center for Digital Business. Andy McAfee is Principal Research Scientist at the Center for Digital Business, as well as serving as its associate director.
“This is a book about how information technologies are affecting jobs, skills, wages, and the economy,” they write in the opening sentence. There are few more timely and vital subjects. During the 2007 - 2009 Great Recession, unemployment increased by as much as 5.7%, the largest increase in the post war period.
But, recessions are always accompanied by job losses. A more perplexing problem is our jobless recovery since the recession was declared officially over. The seemingly recovering economy is not putting enough people back to work. More than two years after the recession officially ended, US unemployment is still over 9 percent.