Updates / The Knowledge Economy

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By / 6.23.2017

Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute, joined Alphachat to talk about his report, “The Coming Productivity Boom”, co-authored by Bret Swanson of Entropy Economics. Mandel argues that the decades-long productivity stagnation will end once companies in the “physical” industries — transportation, construction, manufacturing, healthcare, wholesale and retail trade — start investing […]

By / 6.18.2017

On June 7,  Axios  journalist Chris Matthews wrote a piece “Big Companies, Fewer Workers”  that said: The five most valuable companies in the U.S. are all technology firms that employ far fewer workers than their industrial predecessors. He echoes a common complaint. But is it really true? I decided to  compare employment at today’s most valuable […]

By / 6.1.2017

Innovation is the foundation of growth. As innovation spreads to the physical industries, the result is higher wages, lower costs, and a more dynamic economy, as we showed in our recent report, The Coming Productivity Boom. But innovation in physical industries  has proceeded slower than we might have wanted, In part, that’s because promising technologies […]

By / 5.18.2017

The FCC, under Chairman Ajit Pai,  voted today to start the process of eliminating Title II rules on ISPs. We applaud his move. As we have said before, the Internet was thriving under the light-touch regulatory regime that preceded Title II. Indeed, government data shows that the telecom industry was one of the top contributors to US […]

By / 5.12.2017

This post updates our March 2017 paper on ecommerce jobs, based on the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics  (we also call this sector “advanced distribution”) . Here’s what we find: Since the last business cycle peak, December 2007, the number of ecommerce jobs is up by 397,000. These gains are being driven […]

By / 5.9.2017

One of the bright spots for the Illinois labor market in recent years has been the App Economy. By the estimate in our just-released report, Illinois had 72,000 App Economy jobs as of December 2016, ranked number 6 in the country, just behind Massachusetts.  These jobs have all been created since 2007, when Apple introduced the […]

By / 5.3.2017

In this paper PPI estimates that App Economy employment in the United States totaled 1.729 million as of December 2016.  Based on our previous work, the number of App Economy jobs in the United States has nearly quadrupled over the past five years, growing at a 30 percent annual rate. Looking at the top mobile operating systems, […]

Good news: The robots may not destroy us after all. A few weeks ago, I wrote a column that outlined the worries of big thinkers such as Stephen Hawking and Andrew Yang who are predicting a wave of job destruction caused by automation, robots and artificial intelligence. Michael Mandel begs to differ. Mandel is chief […]

By / 4.7.2017

There is a huge debate about whether automation leads to an aggregate loss of jobs. On the one side are those who believe that robots are about to unleash a massive wave of job destruction, rendering most of us superfluous. On the other side are those who are skeptical about the value of new technologies, and believe […]

By / 4.4.2017

Think back to the first half of the 20th century, when superstar companies of the likes of Ford, General Motors, General Electric, DuPont and Bethlehem Steel literally grew from nothing to employ hundreds of thousands of workers. These innovative market leaders, notably feted by business historians such as Alfred Chandler, pioneered new products and production […]