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算不上可怕的未来就业

发自华盛顿特区——就业的未来是当今的热门话题。它催生了一系列看似无休止的分析,评论和会议,并成为了上周国际货币基金组织和世界银行年度会议上的主要内容。原因很简单:新技术——即数字化,机器人技术和人工智能——对就业具有深远的影响。但是,与经常听到的故事描述相反,我们是有可能迎来一个大团圆结局的。

当前的辩论往往倾向于耸人听闻地预言一个机器将人们驱逐出就业的未来。据一些悲观的估计,美国有47%的就业岗位岌岌可危;经合组织国家为57%;发展中经济体为2/3;全球则为1/2(相当于20亿份工作)。

但同样危言耸听的大规模工作流失和高技术驱动下的结构性失业预测其实并不新鲜,每当历史上出现重大自动化发展事件时都会出现,而且都得到了那一时期著名经济学家的背书。约翰·梅纳德·凯恩斯(John Maynard Keynes)提出过一个;华西里·列昂惕夫也(Wassily Leontief)提出过另一个。但这两个预测都未能兑现。相反,技术变革成为了生产力和就业增长的强大动力。

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