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Productivity Commission calls for submissions on the future of work

Thursday 18th April 2019

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The Productivity Commission is calling for submissions to its study of the impact of technical change on the future of work.

The government has asked the commission to conduct the study and it is offering four different scenarios for people to comment on.

Under the first scenario, technology adoption would accelerate in a way that creates at least as many jobs as it destroys.

But it could also lead to technology replacing labour and therefore to fewer jobs.

It is also possible that technology adoption may slow, leading to less job churn and less change in the nature of work.

Another option is the impact on jobs of technology adoption continues at a pace similar to the last two decades.

The commission will also look at what changes to New Zealand’s labour market policy settings might be necessary.

It will also look at what changes might be needed for education and training.

The issues paper notes that real per-capita incomes increased about fourfold between 1916 and 2016 and that technological change freed people from a lot of onerous or physically-demanding work, especially in agriculture.

The percentage of the workforce engaged in agriculture fell from 36 percent in 1901 to 7 percent in 2013.

But while technological change brings significant overall benefits, it also creates frictions and costs for particular groups in society.

The government wants the commission to explore how it can better position the country to take advantage of innovation and technical change while protecting the nation from any downsides.

Submissions are due by June 5.

(BusinessDesk)

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