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Media Advisory: New Report Outlines Research Agenda to Address Impact of Technology on Workforce


WASHINGTON – Federal agencies or other organizations responsible for sponsoring research or collecting data on technology and the workforce should establish a multidisciplinary research program that addresses unanswered questions related to the impact of changing technology on the nature of work and U.S. national economy, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.


The committee that conducted the study and wrote the report recommended the program should cover the following eight research themes:


  • adopting new ways of evaluating and tracking progress in IT to help decision-makers understand its impact on the workforce;
  • clarifying ways in which different industries use technology to organize their operations, allocate tasks, and perform specific functions;
  • informing policy decisions for using technology to increase overall economic growth;
  • understanding technology-augmented organizations, teams, and individuals and the conditions under which they are most effective;
  • assessing educational and training needs, ways in which technology can be best used to prepare, train, and re-train the future workforce, and the nature of technologies that can automate work, augment it or transform it entirely;
  • understanding behavioral economics of automation to appreciate its adoption patterns as consumer behaviors, worker preferences, and bargaining power drive markets;
  • developing comprehensive strategies to measure the impact of on-demand economy – like ride-sharing services and crowdsourced work marketplaces; and
  • updating and augmenting new data sources, methods, and infrastructures to enable the collection, aggregation, and distribution of a diverse range of data.

The report concludes that the outcomes for the workforce and society at large depend in part on the choices made on how to use emerging information technologies. The committee said the new data and research advances will be critical for informing these choices.



Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here? is available for immediate release.  Media inquiries should be directed to the National Academies' Office of News and Public Information; tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail