Technology is nothing but scientific knowledge. The economy of any era has also been very closely linked with contemporary technological advancement. This inevitably affects the jobs of the people in terms of quantity, quality and type.
Historical Facts :
1. Indus Valley Civilization: Inventions such as the wheel and plough facilitated the trade of surplus. Further presence of port cities like Lothal and Hundis all the way to Mesopotamia which in turn was due to the technological advancement, gave rise to a class of traders and expanded job opportunities for them. Similarly, the presence of a well crafted urban city centre and craft cities like Chanhundaro imply a group of craftsmen using the technology available to them
2.Industrial Revolution: A phase of fast paced technological development egs: Invention of steam engine, spinning jenny led to jump in industrial revolution and significant amount of job creation. The dawn of industrial revolution created jobs for unskilled labourers which was taken as an advantage by colonies as well the colonisers. At the same time it affected the skilled craftsmanship specifically in India. These advancements of technology based on capitalism came in for sharp criticism by Karl Marx, he talked about ” Concept of Alienation .” Jobs created by urbanization and urban policy makers ,therefore in colonial enterprise led to a new class of administrator both inside and outside Britain.
3. Age of Internet : Age of Internet began in the 20th century i.e. computer science related technology commonly known as ” dot com ” boom. So jobs shifted from agriculture to industrial revolution to computer(internet) boom. In the 20th century the emergence of service sector took place. Internet also increased the reach of small scale and medium enterprise. Even the E-commerce boom has provided an important tool to facilitate entrepreneurs. It has created some more physical jobs. Regular commerce was affected in positive manner and in turn a shift took place from physical commerce to E-commerce and which eventually benefited the customers.
Therefore historically, technology has helped in creating jobs of better quality across different sectors.
Contemporary Issues in Sphere of Technology and Jobs:
It mainly deals with loss of employment due to Automation. ,the struggle to improve efficiency led to more jobs and same struggle to improve efficiency in co-operation with automation will lead to loss of jobs. Citizens of every developed country are agitated against the loss of jobs due to automation as well as cheap immigrant labours which is consequence of Globalisation.
Globalization is a product of technological innovation. Example: The “America First” Policy of the current US president Donald Trump is a clear indicator of the same, which leads to endangered economic development of the world as well as inefficient usage of resources.
Increased focus on employment in quaternary and quinary sectors i.e more in Research and Development jobs and jobs in policy making . The large scale environmental problems which are a by product of technology can be tackled with use of Research and Development and policy making jobs.
An associated problem is large scale investment in education and healthcare sectors. oOher focus areas of Research and Development can be pharmaceutical and disease outbreak problems on Food Security etc. Focus on Renewable energy sector is also a job creation asset as suggested by our Prime Minister with initiative in International Solar Alliance.
Is Technology a Boon or Bane for the jobs industry? The answer is definitely a boon if we streamline our attention in development of the demography and creation of new avenues for employment. This will create job opportunities and also help solve some of the world’s most promising problems.