Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Eventually

Revolutions are always bloody, and the productivity revolution is no exception. As companies large and small embrace new technologies and eliminate jobs, millions of workers are finding that their old careers are becoming obsolete. In just the past year, even as the economy grew by some 2.6%, more than 500,000 clerical and technical positions disappeared, probably forever. And better information systems are eliminating the need for lots of middle managers. It's no wonder that so many Americans are distressed: They see their paychecks lagging inflation, and they worry about joining their families and friends in the ranks of the unemployed. To these folks, the productivity revolution is a threat, not a boon.

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