Douglas Carswell

03 MAR 2016

Cheer up: technology is creating more and better jobs

Here's an astonishing cheer-up fact: between 1992 and 2014, the total number of UK jobs rose from 25 million to 31 million. That's an increase of 23%. To put that in context, the population grew by 12%. Even though we have more computers and more automation, there's much more work.

Ever since Ned Ludd, we've been encouraged to think there is a conflict between labour and technology. For over 200 years, we've been told machines are taking our jobs. It used to be factories and mills we were meant to fear. Today, it's delivery drones, driverless cars, and automatic check-out tills. But it was wrong then, and it's wrong now.

Yes, there may be a short-term conflict. But history shows that technology frees people to exchange their time, labour, and resources in better ways.

Just look at the trend. In another 22 years, there's bound to be even more technology. But we can also expect not just more jobs, but better jobs. People will be working fewer hours, for more pay, on more interesting things.

Think about your great, great, great, great-grandfather. He most likely worked in a field, from dawn till dusk, six days a week, for barely enough to live on. Imagine he could see what you do for a living: he'd probably say it's not real work.

Technology is making the world better. We can look forward to less boring, less repetitive, less strenuous work. So cheer up: we're making progress.

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