Technologie en werkgelegenheid

MILAAN – Nieuwe technologieën van verschillende soorten en maten hebben, naast de mondialisering, grote invloed op de werkgelegenheidsperspectieven van individuen met uiteenlopende opleidingsniveau's, zowel in de geavanceerde als in de ontwikkelingslanden. Technologische innovaties verminderen niet alleen het aantal laaggekwalificeerde banen, maar veroorzaken ook veranderingen in de mondiale aanbodketens en netwerken, die leiden tot het verplaatsen van dat soort banen – en steeds vaker ook van hoger gekwalificeerde banen – naar andere economieën.

Hoe moeten beleidsmakers dan de nieuwe, lastiger werkgelegenheidsproblemen (en die op het gebied van de verdeling van inkomen en rijkdom) tegemoet treden, met name in de ontwikkelde economieën? Bij recent onderzoek is een aantal interessante ontdekkingen gedaan, waaruit blijkt hoe de ontwikkeling van de economische structuur van invloed is op de werkgelegenheid.

De sectoren van de geavanceerde economieën die bloot staan aan concurrentie van buitenaf hebben minstens twintig jaar geen reële nettostijging van de werkgelegenheid laten zien, terwijl de arbeidsplaatsen die wél zijn geschapen geconcentreerd zijn in de segmenten waarin sprake is van hogere inkomens en betere opleidingen; in de middelste en lagere regionen daalt de werkgelegenheid juist. Tegenover de groei van de werkgelegenheid in de hogere regionen van de dienstensector staat een krimp van de segmenten die van oudsher voor veel werkgelegenheid hebben gezorgd in de aanbodketens van de industrie.

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