Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Programme has published “Digitalization and the American Workforce” in an effort to strengthen the fact base under discussions of digitization of work and its impact of both wages and job security. It provides a detailed analysis of changes in the digital content of 545 occupations covering 90 per cent of the American workforce in all industries since 2001. Where in 2002, 56% of jobs were labelled as ‘low digitization’ and 5% as ‘high’, in 2016 the proportion of ‘low digitization’ jobs had almost halved to 30% and ‘high digitization’ jobs had more than quadrupled to 23%.
The report’s overall takeaway is twofold: digitization vastly expands the potential of the economy, providing opportunities for many. But significant improvements in digital education and training, are needed both to broaden the high-skill talent pipeline and ensure that underrepresented groups will also profit from an increasingly digital economy.