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Rising Inequality May Be the Real Risk of Automation

Technological change has had more impact on earnings distribution than on demand for workers, study finds
Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

If your main worry over automation is losing your job, history suggests you’ll probably be just fine. 

After all, even a century of unprecedented technological advancement in transportation, production and communication hasn’t caused labor’s share of national income to significantly budge. Economists David Autor and Anna Salomons reckon that’s because the primary driver of employment has actually been population growth, despite all the emphasis placed in academic circles on how machines augment human labor as well as why they will ultimately replace us anyway.