Technology and jobs: A systematic literature review

05 April 2022

Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Kerstin Hötte, Melline Somers, and Angelos Theodorakopoulos

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We systematically review the empirical literature on the past four decades of technological change and its impact on employment, distinguishing between five broad technology categories (ICT, Robots, Innovation, TFP-style, Other). We find across studies that the labor displacing effect of technology appears to be more than offset by compensating mechanisms that create or reinstate labor. This holds for most technology-types, suggesting that anxieties over widespread technology-driven unemployment lack an empirical base. Nevertheless, blue-collar workers have been adversely affected by technological change, and effective up- and reskilling strategies should remain at the forefront of policy making along targeted support systems.