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FutureworkNZ blog

BlogA blog by Commission staff

This was set up to generate ideas and promote debate for our Technological change and the future of work inquiry.

We welcome robust, respectful and insightful thoughts and ideas. Please post your comments at the bottom of blog posts. Comments are moderated and won't appear immediately. 

About the blog

The Commission has completed its inquiry into Technological change and the future of work. Thanks to everyone who read and commented on this blog! Read the final inquiry report and recommendations to Government here. 


Can Kiwis be better chameleons?

25 February 2020

To succeed in an unpredictable and changing world, adaptability is the key. Let’s be chameleons. Tec…


Will there still be Santa?

20 December 2019

I’ve got some bad news about Santa Claus. The North Pole may be far, but it’s not too far to avoid t…


From sewing machinist to software programmer

16 December 2019

I’m sure you’ve heard some version of this popular prediction – about two-thirds of children enterin…


Occupational drift

12 December 2019

New research by Dave Maré from Motu Economic and Public Policy Research for the Commission investiga…

Job security

Policies for dynamic labour markets and productivity growth

28 November 2019

If you’re at risk of losing your job, your best protection is to have lots of other good job opportu…

Cradle Mtn–Lake St Clair National Park

Getting the chop

25 November 2019

I’ve been made redundant. There, I’ve said it. Admittedly, it happened a long time ago. In 1986 I st…

Push the car

Get more people to push – or fix the engine?

21 November 2019

The Commission’s second draft report Employment, labour markets and income, for the Technological ch…

Golden handcuffs

Redundancy pay – a redundant policy tool?

20 November 2019

Redundancy pay is a rather primitive form of insurance or “income smoothing”. It’s an old technology…

Detroit Industry

Redundancy pay – who and what is it good for?

18 November 2019

Redundancy (or severance) pay is an old technology to protect people from the risks and costs of job…

Tim Maddock

How dynamic is the New Zealand labour market?

4 November 2019

Two new Productivity Commission reports tell us that the New Zealand labour market is characterised …

Growth of cities

More people and more jobs has changed New Zealand

24 October 2019

48% growth in employment over 40 years! This is a remarkable success story for New Zealand’s labour …

Carl Benedikt Frey

Into the Frey

14 October 2019

If you’ve read anything about technological change and the future of work – or even if you’ve just G…

Map without NZ

Left off the map – again!

26 September 2019

This is a slide from Professor Richard Baldwin’s presentation about his new book The Globotics Uphea…

Tech and productivity over time

New Zealand, technology and productivity

12 September 2019

The first of the Productivity Commission’s reports on technological change and the future of work is…

1932 image

We have better metrics than the labour income share. Let’s u…

28 August 2019

A decline in the labour income share (LIS) is not definitive evidence of capital replacing human lab…


When tech does things humans never could

15 August 2019

Technological progress need not eliminate jobs; automation can allow new and expanded worthwhile act…

Closed down no work today

It doesn’t pay to lose your job!

14 August 2019

How well does NZ support people who face job loss?  

I feel fortunate. In my working life – 3 ½ yea…

Houston café

Reading past the job-loss headlines

27 June 2019

“Machines take jobs” cry the headlines. A journalist friend once said the media only publish two sto…

Trade Me jobs

Are ‘dumped’ workers pressured into ‘rebound’ jobs in NZ?

30 May 2019

Are fast rates of re-employment always a good thing? New Zealand’s incidence of long-term unemployme…

18 social services illustration orange

Is the future of work happening now?

20 May 2019

Many people worry about the impact of new and emerging technologies like robots and artificial intel…

US imports for China

Offshoring US manufacturing to China – it changed politics, …

15 May 2019

The US–China trade war is in the news again.

Will robots take my job

Job loss predictions – easy to make, hard to trust

13 May 2019

This graphic caught my eye. It accompanies the article Robots and Us in today’s Otago Daily Times.

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