By David Atkins
We already knew it anecdotally, of course, but a new MIT studyadds further weight to the notion that outsourcing and mechanization are turning previously well-paying skilled jobs into low-paying service jobs:
The widening chasm in the U.S. job market has brought many workers a long-term shift to low-skill service jobs, according to a study co-authored by an MIT economist.
The research, presented in a paper by MIT economist David Autor, along with economist David Dorn, helps add nuance to the nation’s job picture. While a widening gap between highly trained and less-trained members of the U.S. workforce has previously been noted, the current study shows in more detail how this transformation is happening in stores, restaurants, nursing homes, and other places staffed by service workers. Specifically, workers in many types of middle-rank positions — such as skilled production-line workers and people in clerical or administrative jobs — have had to migrate into jobs as food-service workers, home health-care aides, child-care employees, and security guards, among other things.