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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Computers and employment

The relationship of computers and automation to employment is part of the more general relation of technological change to employment. The most obvious effect is that increases in productivity due to technology can eliminate jobs. Technology affects the individual worker, in the nature and amount of his work, and in his attitudes toward that work. Technological change affects the occupational structure of the entire labor force. Because of the central importance of these effects, the impact of technology has been the subject of extensive study by economists, sociologists, political scientists, and psychologists. Even within a single discipline, studies are often contradictory, and conclusions are colored by political overtones. We wish to delineate some of the issues, and present arguments given to support different viewpoints.

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