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Member Roundtable on Automation and the Future of Work: Federal Policy Responses

  • 421 Cannon House Office Building (map)

Member Roundtable on Automation and the Future of Work: Federal Policy Responses

Wednesday July 18th, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Room: Cannon 421

Dear Colleague:

A growing number of business leaders and experts are warning that emerging automation and artificial intelligence technologies will transform the future of work, disrupting labor markets, possibly displacing large numbers of workers.  Some estimate tens of millions of jobs being lost in the U.S. and hundreds of millions worldwide.[1]  One widely cited Oxford University study estimates that 47% of U.S. jobs are at risk for being automated by 2033.[2]  Analysts predict that those workers who can least afford
it are going to be hardest hit by job losses. An Obama White House study found that, “the jobs that are threatened by automation are highly concentrated among lower-paid, lower-skilled, and less-educated workers.”[3]  A study by the Joint Center for Political
& Economic Studies shows that workers of color are disproportionately at-risk, finding that, “Over 31 percent of Latino workers and 27 percent of African American workers are concentrated in just 30 occupations at high-risk to automation.”[4]

Automation is one of a number of major forces transforming jobs and the nature of employment. Others include the fissuring of employment relationships, globalization, the financialization of U.S. corporate governance, and de-unionization.  All of these forces are having profound impacts on the labor market–altering which jobs will be available in the future, to whom, the pay and working conditions, and how workers acquire necessary skills.

This roundtable brings together experts to discuss what the federal government can and should do to modernize our labor market institutions to ensure that the future of work is inclusive, equitable, and leads to increasing standards of living for most Americans.The panel will explore policy proposals such as: preserving the employer-employee relationship in lieu of independent contracting, promoting worker-inclusive technology adoption, offering adjustment assistance for displaced workers, increasing worker voice, improving workforce development and lifelong learning, and modernizing the safety net to improve labor mobility.

Opening Remarks

  • Rep. Bobby Scott, Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee

Moderator

  • Mr. Spencer Overton, President, Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies

Panelists

  • Professor Thomas Kochan, George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, Sloan School of Management, MIT
  • Professor Tom Mitchell, E. Fredkin University Professor, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO, Global Policy Solutions

Please RSVP to Ron Hira: ron.hira@mail.house.gov or 202-225-3909

Sincerely,

Robert C.  “Bobby”  Scott
Ranking Member
Committee on Education and the Workforce

References:

[1] Erin Winick, “Every study we could find on what automation will do to jobs, in one chart,” MIT Technology Review, January 25, 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610005/every-study-we-could-find-on-what-automation-will-do-to-jobs-in-one-chart/

[2] Carl B. Frey and Michael A. Osborne, “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?” working paper, Martin School, Oxford University, September 13, 2013. Retrieved from: https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf

[3] Executive Office of the President, “Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy,” December 2016. Retrieved from: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/documents/Artificial-Intelligence-Automation-Economy.PDF

[4] Kristen Broady, “Race and Jobs at High Risk to Automation,” Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies, December 18, 2017. Retrieved from: http://jointcenter.org/blog/race-jobs-high-risk-automation