Our key finding is that while there may be enough work to maintain full employment to 2030 under most scenarios, the transitions will be very challenging - matching or even exceeding the scale of shifts out of agriculture and manufacturing we have seen in the past.They highlight in particular that "Automation will have a far reaching impact on the global workforce." It also helps to consider what is being defined as "full employment" in this context, which is recent statistics and employment gains. Nevertheless, current employment levels don't account for what have been gradual losses in labour force participation, which were exacerbated by the downward monetary adjustments of the Great Recession. In other words, the oft stated challenge is mostly to maintain, what are already less than ideal levels of labour force participation.
Until recently, technology - more often than not - gradually led to increased output which meant further employment opportunities. But non tradable sectors tend to apply technology somewhat differently. Over time, intangible forms of input and product measure have become sheltered from general public view - perhaps for political and other reasons. As a result, it's difficult to ascertain how a wide range of resources are being measured and utilized, or how compensation is actually taking place. And when the relationship between aggregate input and output for services production becomes murky, human capital investment for specific skills use is less certain as well.
Fortunately, even though the extent of future skills compensation is in doubt, we can respond by assigning greater economic value to the use of our mutually held time priorities. Despite the uncertainties of technological change, our personal time preferences for getting things done, are important to us and for others as well. While it would be slow going at first - learning to measure and ascertain mutual time preferences - the eventual result would be organizational work patterns that are more spontaneous and transparent, than the institutional skills use patterns of the twentieth century.
Indeed, the subjective values of our work challenges and other personal commitments, would play out quite differently from the time commitments of institutional skill requirements. When we focus on time value and priorities, time management includes not just the higher skill levels our institutions seek, but also the full range of skill levels which we seek to coordinate with others in multiple aspects of our lives. And unlike the skills that our institutions sought - yet technology is now able to replace - we can still prioritize our time preferences, even as the skills we utilize, are more likely to be those ones we deem most important.
A marketplace for time value, would give voice to our time priorities. Another benefit of time arbitrage: By utilizing the time that individuals and groups actually have at their disposal, the price taking mechanisms which prevailed during times of tradable sector dominance (when resource use was more transparent), once again become possible. When individuals coordinate the time they actually have for daily activities, each hour in aggregate functions as a pricing mechanism for local group settings. Even though our time is rival (one cannot be in two places at once), the rival time/place limits of various skills functions would gradually become evident, allowing individuals to plan for what is already being provided, versus what might still be added to the overall mix of service generation.
Even though technology will continue changing the structure of present day workplaces, we all have more options for the work that matters most to us, than is currently recognized. Some of this work is complex, and some of it is simple. What's most important, is that all the work we find worthwhile, has value. A marketplace for time value, could also restore the value of our own personal priorities, in relation to others. Even though technology will affect skills compensation, it need not get in the way of the patterns we ultimately choose for out time commitments, in terms of mutual responsibilities and aspirations. Technology may pose a threat to today's skills arbitrage status quo, but it need not pose a threat to the potential of time arbitrage.