Episode 2: How Is the Pandemic Changing the Race to Automate?

May 26 17:05 2020 Print This Article

 

All of a sudden, front line workers are being treated as the heroes of this pandemic and that is only fair. Bus drivers, grocery workers, cleaners, meat plant employees – all of these people jobs that need doing and they put themselves at risk in the process. In acknowledgement of that, many employers are boosting their pay and bonuses in a bid to reward them for what they are doing and indeed to make sure they stay on the job. Longer term, however, the result of the pandemic may be that these same workers do not get paid at all, but rather get pink slips. After all, even before the pandemic there was a push to use automation more effectively and perhaps to replace some job functions in the process. That surely could have some huge positives, in that it could safeguard human beings from tasks that are likely to put them in danger. The downside of this, however, could be a spike in unemployment and a long-term fall in wages for the replaced workers.

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About Article Author

Relentless Economics

Linda Nazareth, author of Relentless Economics, is an economist, author, broadcaster, and speaker. The Senior Fellow for Economics and Population Change at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and a frequent media commentator, she is an expert on demographics and trends, and uses a wide range of media to communicate her observations about a world in transition. For twelve years until 2012, Linda was the in-house economist for Business News Network (BNN), the business cable arm of CTV (Canada’s biggest private sector broadcaster). Daily she covered the economic news of the day on-air, looking at the markets and the economic indicators and giving viewers analysis and context.

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