Economics Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

Will automation increase unemployment or underemployment in the United States and around the world?

Expert Answers info

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

The first answer here is correct in many ways.  Economists do certainly argue that, in the long term, automation is good for an economy.  However, this does not mean that automation is good right away.  It also is not unquestionably good in the way this first answer seems to imply.

First of all, it is clearly true that automation can and does lead to unemployment and underemployment in the short term.  As the first answer notes, many autoworkers (for example) have been replaced by machinery in recent times.  This can lead to them becoming unemployed or to them becoming underemployed if they are forced to take jobs that do not fully utilize their skills.  This phenomenon of underemployment is quite common as relatively skilled jobs are lost and workers are left to take lower-paying jobs, typically in service industries. 

Economic theory expects that these people who are replaced by machines will simply find better jobs.  As the first answer says, for example, they should get jobs...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 556 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

wordprof eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write1,654 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

check Approved by eNotes Editorial