How is Digital Technology Changing the Labour Market?

There is no doubt that digital technology has become integrated into almost every sector of industry. In most cases this is actually beneficial and sometimes it is not even noticed!

One area where this could be said to be true is the labour market. But digital technology has made a huge difference:
How is Digital Technology Changing the Labour Market?

Manual Labour

Whether you’re looking for an electrician, general labourer or an IT specialist you need a physical person that can do the job for you. You can advertize for this person yourself or access a bank specializing in labour hire Sydney.

The result is a list of suitable candidates being supplied to you or simply the right one turning up at your door; it depends on what type of contract you wish to specify.

That doesn’t seem very digital! However, digital technology has made it possible for skilled workers
across the world to see job opportunities anywhere on the planet. They can register their interest and skills, allowing them to be considered for jobs even if they are thousands of miles away.

In this aspect digital technology has made the world smaller and perhaps made it easier to locate jobs. Of course, this approach can also dramatically increase the competition for certain jobs.

In this respect digital technology is improving the prospects of many workers and can even allow consultants to interact with businesses without having to leave their own homes.

The Digital Workforce

But, this is not the only impact on the labour market. Digital technology is at the center of most employment debates. It both creates and destroys jobs.

What is interesting is the fact that the revolution of business is increasing. This is the time it takes for
one skill to disappear and a new one to arrive. In the past this has been approximately 30 years. Now a skill can disappear and be replaced in just a few years; thanks to digital technology.

The simple fact is that younger workers may need to retrain several times in order to stay ahead of the industry and gainfully employed. That’s a challenging concept that could drive more people to the leisure industry and relative ease of working a fixed shift for a fixed rate.

Job Creation

The more advanced the digital world becomes the more we are all in need of people that can understand how these systems work and even develop new systems to improve the quality of life and work further.

This is a specialized field and not one that is open to everyone but there is an ongoing potential to create more and more jobs as technology continues to evolve and improve. But there is another way in which digital technology is creating jobs.

In general the income levels of people are rising, as is the life expectancy and the leisure time available. This is all thanks to digital technology. The consequence is that more people have disposable income to spend on leisure activities such as enjoy a drink in a bar, a meal in a restaurant or simply having their hair cut.

In response to this increased demand the number of staff in these industries has had to increase. In
fact estimates suggest that there are 4 times as many bar staff today as there were 10 years ago.

Machines and digital technology may be able to take on the repetitive roles but they are not capable of replacing these types of jobs at this time.

In effect digital technology has made the world a safer place, the number of hard and dangerous jobs is declining while those in leisure industries and digital technological feeds are increasing.

Job Destruction

Of course there has been job destruction. The biggest impact of this can be seen in factories. Digital technology has been destroying these jobs for many years. Processes that used to be completed by hand are now done faster and more accurately with robotic arms. These are the repetitive roles that are mentioned above.

The number of people employed in these roles has declined sharply in recent years although some
employees have moved to supervising the machines instead of doing the work. There is also a very real threat to job stability in the more developed world. Digital technology has shrunk the world and allowed business to recruit staff from virtually anywhere. This has led to a rise in staff recruited from countries where the pay rate is much lower.

In fact some companies are moving their entire operation to Asia and India in a bid to dramatically reduce their operating costs. Digital technology makes this possible and allows the founders of these facilities to manage their operation from anywhere in the world while gaining the benefit of cheap labour.

Using cheap labour is not a new thing but digital technology is dramatically increasing how often this is happening. While this may improve the employment rate in Asia and India it will not be beneficial to the western countries and their employment rates.

Hard Labour

Perhaps the issue of digital technology and jobs should not focus on whether specific sectors of jobs are in decline but on what the overall employment rate is.

After all, there are many physically demanding jobs which have vanished over the years and most people are not disappointed by this. But, people are disappointed when they don’t have a job to go to. The fact that there are 205 million people unemployed across the world suggests that there is still some work to be done to ensure everyone can be grateful to digital technology and the improvements it has made to life in general.

What is certain is that digital technology has been changing the face of the labour market for many years and this trend is not about to change. The real question is how people can adapt to these changes to improve their quality of life. Digital technology provides the incentive and the possibility; it simply depends on how you view the changes it brings.


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