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Forbes

MIT researchers have found five main predictors of attrition: toxic work culture, job insecurity, stressing innovation, not being recognized for performance, and poor response to Covid-19, reports Meghan M. Biro for Forbes. “Everything boils down to valuing your people – and possibly undertaking a bout of serious self-assessment,” writes Biro.

New York Times

New York Times reporter Steve Lohr spotlights how the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Omidyar Network have made a gift to help establish a new program that will analyze forces contributing to the erosion of job quality and labor market opportunity for workers without college degrees. “Markets are terrific, but we have to overcome this notion that ‘markets are autonomous — so just leave it to the market,’” says Prof. David Autor. “That fatalism is a decision.”

Bloomberg

Bloomberg reporter Ben Holland spotlights “The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines” – a new book written by Prof. David Autor, Prof. David Mindell and Elizabeth Reynolds PhD ’10 – about the future of job mobility and social safety nets in the United States.

New York Times

New York Times reporter Gina Bellafante spotlights a report from the Sloan School of Management which found that toxic work culture leads to a higher attrition rate than unsatisfactory pay. “Attrition rates in the financial sector hovered around 9 and 10 percent, several points higher than those for the health care and telecommunications industries and nearly twice as high as the figure for the airlines,” writes Bellafante.

Forbes

Forbes reporter Bryan Robinson spotlights a report by researchers from the Sloan School of Management, which found people are quitting their jobs because of toxic workplace culture, not low pay. “The report says toxic workplace culture is 10.4 times more likely to contribute to an employee quitting,” writes Robinson.

New York Times

A new study by Prof. David Autor examining the effectiveness of the Paycheck Protection Program found that the program ended up subsidizing business owners and shareholders more than workers, reports Stacy Cowley for The New York Times.  “Jobs and businesses are two separate things,” says Autor. “We tried to figure out, ‘Where did the money go?’ — and it turns out it didn’t primarily go to workers who would have lost jobs. It went to business owners and their shareholders and their creditors.”

New York Times

Prof. David Autor speaks with New York Times columnist Peter Coy about the new book he wrote with Prof. David Mindell and Elisabeth Reynolds, “The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines.” Autor explains that: “Most people’s fear of technology is really a fear of capitalism, what the markets will do with the technology. You can’t make a lot of progress if you’re making people poorer at the same time.”

Economist

The Economist highlights new work by MIT researchers investigating the impact of automation on the labor market. A study by graduate student Joonas Tuhkuri finds that at Finnish firms “adoption of advanced technologies led to increases in hiring.” Meanwhile a new book by Profs. David Autor, David Mindell and Elisabeth Reynolds concludes that “even if robots do not create widespread joblessness, they may have helped create an environment where the rewards are ‘skewed towards the top.’”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Clint Rainey writes that a new study co-authored by MIT economists finds that the bulk of the loan money handed out through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) helped business owners and shareholders. The researchers estimate that “somewhere between 23% and 34% of PPP dollars went to workers who would’ve otherwise lost their jobs,” writes Rainey. “The rest of the loan money—a full two-thirds to three-fourths—landed in the pockets of either the company’s owners or shareholders.”

Forbes

Forbes reporter Christ Westfall spotlights “The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines,” a new book by Prof. David Autor, Prof. David Mindell and Research Scientist Elizabeth Reynolds that explores the future of work in America. “The US has allowed traditional channels of worker voice to atrophy without fostering new institutions or buttressing existing ones,” they write. “It has permitted the federal minimum wage to recede to near irrelevance.”

Forbes

Forbes contributor Adi Gaskell writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds increased investment in robotics and automation-based technologies as populations age. Gaskell notes that: “the data shows a strong relationship between the age of the workforce, which was defined as the ratio of workers aged over 56 and those aged between 21 and 55, and the adoption of robotics in 60 different countries.”

The Washington Post

Sloan graduate student Haiyi Zhang and Wellesley College Prof. Courtney Coile are conducting an ongoing research effort to understand how the pandemic changed retirement, writes Washington Post reporter Andrew Van Dam. “They found that workers were less likely to retire if they could work from home. However, they didn’t see evidence that local coronavirus outbreaks nor the local job market had an effect on early retirements,” writes Van Dam.

New York Times

New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall spotlights Prof. David Autor’s research exploring the state of men in the U.S., including the growing gender gaps in educational attainment and the labor market.   

Reuters

A new study co-authored by Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu finds that countries with older workforces are seeing a larger increase in the use of robots, reports Timothy Aeppel for Reuters. Acemoglu and his colleague Pascual Restrepo of Boston University found that “age alone accounted for 35% of the variation between countries in their adoption of robots, with those having older workers far more likely to adopt the machines.”

Forbes

Writing for Forbes, Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, makes the case that society is undergoing a Great Reframing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. “The pandemic, with far more impact than the Great Recession, has created a new psychosocial equilibrium — a renewed and heightened vigilance and priority to determine what is truly important and to make choices accordingly,” writes Coughlin. “Our view of life has been reframed.”