FutureworkNZ blog

BlogA blog by Commission staff to generate ideas and promote debate for the 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


Ice

How to insure against a workless future

16 September 2019 | Anthony Hall and Dr Nicholas Agar

There are two “expert” messages about the impact of the digital revolution on work that are hard to ...

Tech and productivity over time

New Zealand, technology and productivity

12 September 2019 | Judy Kavanagh

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

Sheep

Shocks to the system

11 September 2019 | Nik Green

As a small country that’s far away from most of the world, it’s not surprising that many have worrie...

Bolt and Nut Australia

The nuts and bolts of automation

9 September 2019 | Judy Kavanagh

Many, many things affect whether a firm will adopt a technology, and whether this adoption will be s...

Making digital inclusion ‘go viral’

5 September 2019 | Amelia Sharman

Can you ‘infect’ someone with digital skills? It may sound like an odd question but let me explain…
...

Digital inclusion

Digital inclusion: What do we know from people who don’t use...

4 September 2019 | Judy Kavanagh

Forty-five percent of people who don’t use the internet say they have no interest in the internet or...

Looking beyond access

Looking beyond access to solve the digital divide

2 September 2019 | Judy Kavanagh

Why is the Productivity Commission interested in the digital divide? Our terms of reference ask us h...

1932 image

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

28 August 2019 | Dave Heatley

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

Aviation

From Richard Pearse to the koru club

26 August 2019 | Judy Kavanagh

There’s a long lag between invention and any labour market effects from the mass adoption of technol...

Snow

Robots and frozen vegetables

22 August 2019 | Dave Heatley

Freezing 500 tonnes of vegetables a day, most days of the year. That makes for a significant manufac...

Seed cleaner

Why hang on to old tech?

21 August 2019 | Amelia Sharman

As the opening chords of Country Calendar play, feel-good nostalgia for rural New Zealand washes ove...

Pateke

When tech does things humans never could

15 August 2019 | Nik Green

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 | Tim Maddock

How well does NZ support people who face job loss?  

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

Technological change and the future of love

Technological change and the future of love

12 August 2019 | John MacCormick

Online matchmaking has radically changed the way people search for love.

Technological change

Is tech change really accelerating?

7 August 2019 | Tim Maddock

Accelerating or decelerating? Just about all the media commentary about the future of work says that...

Low-emissions economy

Climate change policy, technological change and the future o...

6 August 2019 | Judy Kavanagh

It’s always a big day for the Productivity Commission when the Government announces its response to ...

Robots in Japan

Can robots help fund more attractive places to live?

1 August 2019 | Judy Kavanagh

Robots are going to take our jobs, right?  Well, maybe. The available evidence provides conflicting ...

Miford Sound by Dave Heatley

Why do the Danes like tech?

31 July 2019 | Judy Kavanagh

Denmark is a lot like us. A small country and with an open economy and lots of fiords and sounds.

Moon

Moon landings, automation fears and commissions of inquiry

26 July 2019 | Dave Heatley

The 50th anniversary of the moon landings got me thinking about 1960s tech and work.

Straight line to the mountains

The perils of straight-line forecasting

24 July 2019 | Dave Heatley

Skills scarcity is great. At least when it’s your skills in demand.

Who should invest their money between workers’ ears?

22 July 2019 | John MacCormick

Training is an investment in “embodied human capital” – assets stored in workers’ heads.

Impossiburger

Blocking agri-tech doesn’t mean we can block its undesired e...

18 July 2019 | Dave Heatley

New tech. A traditional local industry.

Mt Tasman and Fox Glacier

What to do when forecasts diverge?

17 July 2019 | Dave Heatley

The nice thing about forecasts is that you have so many to choose from.

At work at home

Can tech-enabled flexible work close the gender pay gap?

15 July 2019 | Judy Kavanagh

The converging roles of men and women are among the grandest advances in society and the economy in ...

What makes a job a good job?

11 July 2019 | John MacCormick

There’s an old joke about an economist searching for their keys under a street lamp.

Home

There’s no place like home

10 July 2019 | Tim Maddock

Why don’t people move as often as economists expect? 

Some regions in New Zealand have much higher ...

Easter Bunny Dave Heatley

The demand for statisticians and Easter bunnies

8 July 2019 | Dave Heatley

The right job in the wrong place. For many, that’s the reality of job search in New Zealand’s less p...

Artificial intelligence

Could AI be the answer to our productivity woes?

3 July 2019 | Judy Kavanagh

Regardless of the technology hype, we’re in a productivity slump worldwide.

Houston café

Reading past the job-loss headlines

27 June 2019 | Dave Heatley

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

Beach by Dave Heatley

Is the post-2012 acceleration in automation tech sustainable...

26 June 2019 | Dave Heatley

Can automation tech keep improving at the current rate? 

First, how good is today’s AI-enabled soft...

Which technologies drive concern over the future of work?

24 June 2019 | Dave Heatley

Biotech. Nanotech. Cleantech. Gene tech. Cloud computing tech. Successive waves of technological cha...

The future of volunteering

20 June 2019 | Dave Heatley

I only know one economist joke. A plane carrying economists plummets towards the ground after its en...

Land

Guest post: Land use and the future of work

17 June 2019 | Phil McDermott

Flexible land-use planning complements a complex, dynamic and unpredictable employment environment. ...

Team

Career is a verb, not a noun

17 June 2019 | Dave Heatley

career (v) move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way.

Scenarios and choosing a future

14 June 2019 | Dave Heatley

Can New Zealand choose its own future of work? The submissions and feedback the inquiry has received...

Pick a path

Pick a path

13 June 2019 | Dave Heatley

Technology is an irresistible force, emerging from inventors and relentlessly changing the nature of...

Dave Heatley

Is the price right?

11 June 2019 | Dave Heatley

Prices affect firm decisions. Government policy affects prices, and in doing so indirectly affects t...

Dave Heatley

The mothers of invention

10 June 2019 | Dave Heatley

Necessity is the mother of invention if camping without tent pegs, according to Kinley Salmon in his...

Girl boss

Girl bosses and skills to beat job-killing robots

5 June 2019 | John MacCormick

GirlBoss NZ urges us to take a strong gender perspective in our inquiry.

Trade Me jobs

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

30 May 2019 | Tim Maddock

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

Gig economy

The gig economy – flexible but tricky to measure

27 May 2019 | Tim Maddock

It is hard to find a discussion about the future of work without some reference to the emergence of ...

Is the future of work happening now?

20 May 2019 | Nik Green

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

Hype cycle

Don’t believe the hype

17 May 2019 | Dave Heatley

Predicting technology is the first step towards predicting the labour market impacts of technology. ...

US imports for China

Offshoring US manufacturing to China – it changed politics, ...

15 May 2019 | Dave Heatley

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 | Dave Heatley

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

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