Is technology a job killer?

Is technology a job killer?

It’s not just the recession that is eliminating middle-class jobs
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Left: A train conductor in 2011, in New Brunswick, N.J. Right: Tokyo’s Yurikamome Line that runs without any drivers or conductors along Tokyo Bay, in 2013. Katsuya Hagane, the manager in charge of operations at New Transit Yurikamome, with just 60 regular employees, says the automated system helps keeps hiring down.
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Left: Travel agent Gabriele Herlitschka leafs through an Asia and Australia travel catalogue in her travel agency office in 2002, in Duesseldorf, Germany. Right: Expedia worker Mike Brown takes a break in an alcove set up for employees in 2013, in Bellevue, Wash. The number travel agents fell 46 percent from 142,000 to 76,000 in 10 years through 2010.
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Left: An information technology room in 2001, in Hurst, Texas. Right: A SAP server room in 2012, in Walldorf, Germany. SAP allows companies to use cloud computing to track sales and inventory without needing to hire IT employees.
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Steven Herman, right, head of the Library of Congress storage facility, at the Library of Congress in 2003, in Washington, and left, a “bookBot,” an automated retrieval system at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University in 2013, in Raleigh, N.C. Many middle-class workers have lost jobs because powerful software and computerized machines are doing tasks that only humans could do before.
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Left: A teller at the Taipei Bank, in 2002, in Taipei, Taiwan. Right: The 2011 Bank of America mobile application on a mobile device. Many middle-class workers have lost jobs because powerful software and computerized machines are doing tasks that only humans could do before.
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Left, passengers checking-in at an American Airlines ticketing counter in 2011, in Dallas, and right, a row of self-check-in kiosks in 2012, in Seattle. Many middle-class workers have lost jobs because powerful software and computerized machines are doing tasks that only humans could do before.
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Left, the General Services Administration telephone switchboard and its operators in 1951, and right, Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, on the Apple iPhone 4S in 2011. The number of switchboard and telephone operators in the U.S. fell from 182,000 to 73,000 in 10 years through 2010 because of new technology.
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