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文章標題 Book : The Great Stagnation
Online Industry Employment Levels
You get the picture. Again, these companies generate a greater
amount of employment and revenue indirectly, but still our
major innovations are springing up in sectors where a lot of
work is done by machines, not by human beings.
A recent study found that the iPod—a nearly ubiquitous device-
has created 13,920 jobs in the United States, including
engineering and retail. That's a pretty small number. Again, we
should applaud the iPod for creating so much value with so little
human labor, but again you can see that a lot of our innovation
has a tenuous connection to revenue. Note, by the way, that
digital music has eliminated many jobs in the music industry, as
listeners buy single songs (or obtain the music illegally) rather
than purchasing entire albums. The 13,920 figure doesn't count
those lost jobs at all, and arguably the iPod has had only a very
small net positive impact on job creation.
That is one reason why we have been seeing a “jobless recovery.”
It's also why unemployment is so concentrated among the
relatively unskilled. If you want to get a job in the new and
growing sectors of the economy, or the parts of the old economy
that are regearing, it really helps to be skilled with information
technology. but still those jobs aren't that plentiful. At the same
time that a lot of people are out of work, some of the cutting-
edge companies can't find and hire the people they need. We're
facing a fundamental skills mismatch, and the U.S. labor market
is increasingly divided into a group that can keep up with
technical work and a group that can't.
The gains of the internet are very real and I am here to praise
them, not damn them. Without the internet revolution, most of
us would be much worse off, and hardly anyone would be better
off. Still, the overall picture is this:
- We are having more fun, in part because of the internet. We are also having
more cheap fun.
- We are coming up short on the revenue side, so it is harder to pay our debts,
whether individuals, businesses, or governments. That situation means ongoing
financial hardships, including crises of sovereign debt around the world.
~ Some of the major technological marvels of today's world are not doing so
much to create new jobs. 'They'll bring big gains but without putting too many
people back to work, IT specialists of the right kind excluded.
The internet is wonderful, but it's not saving the revenue-
generating sector of the economy.