Over the past half century, wave after wave of digital innovation has ensured that “digitalization” – the diffusion of digital technologies into nearly every business, workplace and pocket – has been remaking the U.S. economy and the world of work. The Metropolitan Policy Program’s new report, “Digitalization and the American workforce,” indicates workers, industries, and metropolitan areas benefit from increased digital skills via enhanced wage growth higher productivity and pay, and a reduced risk of automation, but cautions that adaptive policies are still needed to foster a more inclusive labor market.
On Thursday, December 7, the Metropolitan Policy Program hosted an event aimed at helping leaders understand and manage the disruption caused by digitalization. Brookings senior fellow Mark Muro delivered a presentation highlighting the findings of the report, assessing the rapid changes in occupations over the last decade and a half, and providing analysis of large-scale trends. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion with leaders who are grappling with significant challenges facing cities as they address talent supply and inclusion issues in tech. Panelists discussed the necessity of digital education and training, the broadening of the high-skill talent pipeline, and how firms and workers can ensure that underrepresented groups can connect to an increasingly digital economy.