Great paper out of Oxford being publicized by the Economist. http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf (Subscription required for the Economist Article: http://www.economist.com/news/leade...de&spv=xm&ah=9d7f7ab945510a56fa6d37c30b6f1709 The substantive results from this paper are perhaps the clearest answer to the question of why we are seeing a boom in corporate profits while the labor market remains historically weak. Prior research has shown that about 22-29% jobs will be sent overseas in the next 10-20 years (Blinder 2009 as cited in this paper). This paper shows that 47% of all jobs have a high probability (defined as above 70% likelihood) of being computerized in the next decade or so. In addition, 19% more have a medium probability of being computerized over the same period. At an industry level, the most likely to be computerized are "sales and related," "office and administrative support," "construction and extraction," "farming, fishing, and forestry," production, and transportation and material moving. The least likely to be computerized are management and business financial (although they have a surprising amount that might be computerized in this field), "computer, engineering, and science," "education, legal, community service, arts, and media," and healthcare. Fine arts, originality, negotiation, persuasion, social perceptiveness, and assisting and caring for others are the job characteristics least likely to be automated. The most likely to be automated involve manual or finger dexterity and those that occur in cramped conditions. The table at the end contains a list of all jobs tested with a probability for being computerized in the next decade. Unsurprisingly, low wage and low education jobs are most likely to be computerized. As low wage jobs become more easily replaced by computerization, wages will fall in these jobs. This will obviously increase income inequality. I suspect that a new system will need to be developed to deal with this going forward, as I could definitely see income inequality rising to historically unsustainable levels as labor value plummets in lower education and lower wage jobs. Unfortunately, our political system in the US is stuck in the debates of the 1970s-1980s about how much government rather than dealing with the issues that threaten somewhere between 47-76% of all jobs in the next couple of decades and redesigning the economy to deal with this transition. Obviously, this is a very complicated and difficult problem, but politicians and activists on both sides of the aisle have been ignoring this for a variety of reasons, including that solutions might involve changes that are very uncomfortable for both sides and that the money being dumped into politics has been fundamentally short-sighted in maintenance of the status quo. I hope work like this begins to gain more traction outside of academic circles and starts pushing politicians to act.