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Journal article
Is modern technology responsible for jobless recoveries?
Georg Graetz and Guy Michaels
May 2017
Paper No' :

JEL Classification: E23;E24;E32;J24;J64

Tags: production; employment; unemployment; wages; intergenerational income distribution; aggregate human capital; aggregate labor productivity; business fluctuations; cycles; human capital; skills; occupational choice; labor productivity; models; duration; incidence; and job search

Since the early 1990s, recoveries from recessions in the US have been plagued by weak employment growth. We investigate whether a similar problem afflicts other developed economies, and whether technology is a culprit. We study recoveries from 71 recessions in 28 industries and 17 countries from 1970-2011. We find that though GDP recovered more slowly after recent recessions, employment did not. Industries that used more routine tasks, and those more exposed to robotization, did not recently experience slower employment recoveries. Finally, middle-skill employment did not recover more slowly after recent recessions, and this pattern was no different in routine-intensive industries.