The Wealth of Humans: Work and its Absence in the Twenty-First Century
'Ryan Avent is a superb writer ...highly readable and lively' Thomas Piketty To work is human, yet the world of work is changing fast, and in unexpected ways. With rapid advances in information technology, huge swathes of the job market - from cleaners and drivers to journalists and doctors - are being automated: a staggering 47% of American employment is at risk of automation within the next two to three decades. At the same time, millions more jobs are being created. What does the future of work hold? In this illuminating new investigation of what this means for us, Ryan Avent lays bare the contradictions in today's global labour market. From Volvo's operations in Sweden to the vast 'Factory Asia' hub in China, he offers the first clear explanation of the state we're in-and how we could get out of it.
Avent is a fluent writer who takes complex ideas and works them, like Plasticine, into vivid models ... The Wealth of Humans stands favourable comparison with Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty -- Martin Vander Weyer Telegraph Ryan Avent is a superb writer ... highly readable and lively -- Thomas Picketty Compelling and troubling... In popular commentary on the future, there is an unhelpful view that one day each of us will turn up at work and find a robot sitting in our chairs. Avent's alternative account, of a slow but persistent decline in the importance of work and a fractious search for a new political settlement, is immeasurably more plausible -- Daniel Susskind Sunday Times In the world of economics, Ryan Avent is simply one of the sharpest and most intelligent writers around. Nobody is better placed to tell us how technology is shaping our economy and our lives -- Tim Harford An important argument on a subject that will shape the coming decades -- Duncan Weldon Prospect
Ryan Avent is Economics Correspondent for The Economist and his work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian. Previously, he worked as an economic consultant and as an industry analyst for the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the principal fact finding agency for the US Government in the broad field of labour economics and statistics. This is his first book. He lives in London.