Newspaper article MinnPost.com

Digital-Revolution Fallout: Where Will the Jobs Come From?

Newspaper article MinnPost.com

Digital-Revolution Fallout: Where Will the Jobs Come From?

Article excerpt

When I was a kid, I used to see articles wondering what Americans would do with all the leisure time we were going to have.

Labor-saving devices, it was believed, would increasingly leave us with time on our hands - maybe too much. In 50 years, these authors of 50 years ago speculated, the average American might work only 15 or 20 hours a week. How would we find enough things to keep us busy?

Well, labor-saving devices may wind up giving us a lot of free time, but not in the way we suspected half a century ago. We may simply be unemployed.

I got that notion by looking at some statistics on major Internet companies.

Amazon, eBay, Facebook, TenCent, Google and Apple posted combined sales last year of about $1.2 trillion. Their aggregate market worth is more than $1 trillion. Yet these half-dozen titans of the new economy, all told, employ only about 324,000 workers.

By contrast, General Electric -- the only company that's been part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since its creation in 1896 - - posted sales last year of $147 billion while employing 305,000 people. …

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