105%20Chapter%209 - Chapter 9 Technology and Jobs...

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Chapter 9: Technology and Jobs * Technological change … workers are frightened; their fear is real. -- New technology increases productivity, requiring fewer workers -- In 1900, an hour’s labor resulted in a dollar’s ($1.00) worth of goods and services. -- In 1970, that hour produced the equivalent of more than six dollars ($6.00) worth. -- BUT …Technology’s effects on employment are substantial but contradictory. * Threat of Machine-made Unemployment -- Many jobs lost, i.e. typesetters went from 8,000 to 3,500, one computer in one bank = increased transactions with 10 fewer people -- Half the number of workers are now required to produce the same number of cars. -- Amazingly, entire industries have contracted while productivity has increased! = From 1972-1977, 21% more telephone calls were made through the Bell System, yet the number of operators fell by 32% * Technology Threat in Perspective -- In the late 1700’s, the power loom forced out handloom weavers; some handloom workers remained, but worked for very low wages. -- The industrial revolution (use of machines to replace man power) did this to many industries -- Machinery pushed people out of work and caused social unrest. -- By early 1800’s there was worker-resistance to new machinery. -- The LUDDITE outbreaks had occurred. -- The inventor of the power ribbon loom was actually drowned! -- Production, however, ROSE! Some feared it was rising faster than people could buy and this would cause unemployment. -- It was suggested that workers work LESS so that they would pro- duce LESS. * A Case of Optimism
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105%20Chapter%209 - Chapter 9 Technology and Jobs...

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