Friday, December 22, 2017

Automation is bad for Latinos

According to a Pew report, Latinos are far more likely than whites and blacks to cite automation as the key cause for why their hours or pay have been reduced, or even why they lost a job. In an effort to gauge the impact of automation on different racial groups, the Brookings Institution’s Muro and Whiton assessed the “automation potential” — a measure developed by McKinsey that pertains to how many tasks can be automated using today’s technology — for the 20 occupations in which each racial group is most concentrated. They then compared that to the number of workers in each occupation. Latinos, the researchers found, face the highest automation potential at close to 60%, followed by blacks at 50%, Asians at almost 40%, and whites at roughly 25%. Without digital skills, Latinos can be automated out of jobs that extend far beyond the construction and hospitality sectors: According to Brookings, the share of jobs that don’t require workers to have experience beyond basic digital skills — such as knowing how to use Excel and Word — has fallen from 56% to 30% between 2002 to 2012. Automation threatens to exacerbate a pattern in which Latinos are stuck at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.

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