The Changing Nature of Work: A World Bank Group Flagship Report

At a time when the global economy is growing and the poverty rate is the lowest in recorded history, it would be easy to become complacent and overlook looming challenges. One of the most critical is the future of work, the subject of the 2019 World Development Report.

“Machines are coming to take our jobs” has been a concern for hundreds of years—at least since the industrialization of weaving in the early 18th century, which raised productivity and also fears that thousands of workers would be thrown out on the streets. Innovation and technological progress have caused disruption, but they have created more prosperity than they have destroyed. Yet today, we are riding a new wave of uncertainty as the pace of innovation continues to accelerate and technology affects every part of our lives.

This Report emphasizes the primacy of human capital in meeting a challenge that, by its very definition, resists simple and prescriptive solutions.
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