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TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater spotlights a new study by Prof. Daron Acemoglu that examines the impact of automation on the workforce. “We’re starting with a very clear premise here: in 21st-century America, the wealth gap is big and only getting bigger,” writes Heater. “The paper, ‘Tasks, Automation, and the Rise in U.S. Wage Inequality,’ attempts to explore the correlation between the growing income gap and automation.”

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Andrew Paul writes that a study co-authored by Institute Prof. Daron Acemoglu examines the impact of automation on the workforce over the past four decades and finds that “‘so-so automation’ exacerbates wage gaps between white and blue collar workers more than almost any other factor.”

Freakonomics Radio

Prof. Daron Acemoglu speaks with Freakonomics Radio host Stephen Dubner about his research exploring how having a boss who attended business school can impact a business. “The main findings are actually very simple,” says Acemoglu. “As soon as you have a business school manager, you see a relative decline in wages and labor share.”

Forbes

Researchers from the Sloan School of Management have found that toxic work culture is the driving force behind many employees leaving their jobs, reports James Reid for Forbes. “A strong, healthy culture is the execution engine of an organization, which makes it the most valuable asset any organization can possess,” writes Reid.

The Wall Street Journal

A study co-authored by graduate student Evan J. Soltas finds that illness caused by Covid-19 shrank the U.S. labor force by around 500,000 people, reports Gwynn Guilford for The Wall Street Journal. “If we stay where we are with Covid infection rates going forward, we expect that 500,000-person loss to persist until either exposure goes down or severity goes down,” said Soltas.

Fortune

Prof. Thomas Kochan writes for Fortune about how California’s new Fast Food Council can positively impact businesses, investors, employers, and workers. The council is “composed of industry, worker, and government representative to set minimum wage, safety, and employment and training standards for workers in large fast food chains and their franchises,” writes Kochan.

WBUR

Writing for WBUR, Prof. Emeritus Thomas Kochan and Wilma Liebman, former chair of the National Labor Relations Board, explore the current rise in worker activism and how to rebalance the relationship between employees and management. “The challenge, as ever, is to translate successful organizing campaigns into successful negotiations, resulting in labor agreements that provide ongoing representation for workers,” they write.

Forbes

Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, writes for Forbes about the impact Baby Boomer and Gen X retirement can have on the increasing labor shortage in the United States. “While some millennials can’t wait for the Boomers and older Gen X’ers to step aside in the job market, there are critical labor shortfalls in many key industries that will be sharply felt by Millennials as consumers and as the next generation of leadership in business and government,” writes Coughlin.

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.”