The future of labour in digital capitalism

Bleak but plausible predictions from Nick Srniceck and Alex Williams in their Inventing the Future. From loc 2020-2035:

1. The precarity of the developed economies’ working class will intensify due to the surplus global labour supply (resulting from both globalisation and automation). 

2. Jobless recoveries will continue to deepen and lengthen, predominantly affecting those whose jobs can be automated at the time. 

3. Slum populations will continue to grow due to the automation of low-skilled service work, and will be exacerbated by premature deindustrialisation. 

4. Urban marginality in the developed economies will grow in size as low-skilled, low-wage jobs are automated. 

5. The transformation of higher education into job training will be hastened in a desperate attempt to increase the supply of high-skilled workers. 

6. Growth will remain slow and make the expansion of replacement jobs unlikely. 

7. The changes to workfare, immigration controls and mass incarceration will deepen as those without jobs are increasingly subjected to coercive controls and survival economies.

This leaves us with a profound contradiction of “a future in which the global economy is increasingly unable to produce enough jobs (let alone good jobs), yet where we remain dependent upon jobs for our living.”

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