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MIT Report Makes Sweeping Recommendations on Adapting Workforce to Digital Future

  • MIT task force releases report on improving the labor market as digital advances, artificial intelligence, and other technology becomes more prevalent
  • The report highlights a variety of social issues, such as wage stagnation, that have affected workers
  • Recommendations include not only enhanced training opportunities, but also overhauls in areas such as minimum wage, tax code, and federal research

A task force from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has released an extensive report on how the United States can create better jobs as intelligent machines become more commonplace. The conclusions stem from three years of research, and make sweeping recommendations in areas ranging from workforce training to public policy.

One key finding suggests that American workers have suffered from wage stagnation for several decades, limiting intergenerational mobility as well as the opportunities for quality jobs (especially for workers without four-year degrees). The task force recommends that the federal minimum wage be at least 40 percent of the national median wage, with additional reforms to labor laws, unemployment compensation, and the tax code.

The report suggests that while advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics will replace some jobs, they will also create new opportunities for human workers. It encourages greater investment in workforce training, updating available training to match the needs of the current market, and adopting policies that improve the degree completion rate at community colleges.

Federal research should be concentrated in areas typically not addressed by private research, the report advises. It recommends that it should focus on how technologies can be used to address larger issues such as climate change or public health.

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