As technological advances seemingly reshape every aspect of how U.S. workers and their families live and work, a persistent question in research and policy discussions is how these advances will affect employment and the U.S. labor market in the years and decades to come. Employers could use automation and other advanced technologies to displace human labor or augment it to different degrees, replacing human labor or changing the nature of jobs without becoming a future without workers.

Ultimately, many factors affect how employers integrate technology into work, including the policy landscape and economic incentives. Likewise, many factors affect what impacts technology will have on the U.S. labor market, on working conditions, and on worker power. There remains more work to be done to understand how policymakers can shape the future of the U.S. labor market to ensure gains from technological integration can foster broadly shared growth.

This issue brief will first examine the factors shaping employers’ use of new technologies in workplaces, which is often driven by factors other than clear-cut efficiency and productivity gains. Then, it will look at the expanding role of automation technologies in workplaces and what that means for workers. The issue brief then closes with a look at how employers’ use of automation, artificial intelligence, and other advanced technologies could have different impacts on workers and society, and even improve working conditions and worker power.

Read the full article about infrastructure and workers by Kathryn Zickuhr at Washington Center for Equitable Growth.