Politicians, union leaders and business leaders sit up and take note! High Tech does not destroy jobs, it creates jobs by a factor of FOUR (!) according to research published by the University of Leuven in Belgium.
According to perceived wisdom new technology destroys jobs. You only have to look at the devastation in former industrial heartlands across Europe to see what new technology can do, according to union bosses such as Bob Crow, who is waging a war against new technology on London’s underground.
They better take note of what the Belgian researchers found. In 2011 there were already 22 million high tech workers in the EU, representing 10 percent of total employment. Although the percentages of the workforce working in high tech were fairly evenly spread across the EU, the Czech Republic had the highest concentration (13.7%).
Not surprisingly Germany contributed the most (21.7%) to high tech employment in the EU. Four countries dominate high tech jobs, Germany, France, Italy and the UK together have 60% of all high tech jobs.
High tech is one of the engines of recovery, employment in the sector grew by 20% between 2000 – 2011, whereas total employment only grew by 8%. This picture was the same in each of the 27 EU member states.
The interesting thing is that the research shows that previously low tech areas are catching up, fast. The employment levels in those areas grew much faster than in established high tech areas. And high tech workers are good for the local economy. Figures show that the sector has lower unemployment rates, a wage premium (19% higher salaries on average) and stronger wage growth. All indications of a strong demand for those skills and for the economic value they create.
The researcher estimated that the economic impact of high tech workers translates into the creation of four more jobs in the local economy as a result. This includes workers across the skill spectrum—such as lawyers, physicians, waiters, taxi drivers, schoolteachers, managers, and technologists.
The average politician (Boris Johnson excluded) should start realising the positive impact of high tech has on the economy and start acting upon it. California has been an example for years, it’s an example to emulate, not to denigrate. Europe needs more tech parks such as Silicon Roundabouts, Sophia Antipolis’, Agropolis Oy, Tartu Teaduspark, etc. so we can start demolishing the filthy remnants of the industrial revolution and replace it with sustainable, green, and valuable technology.
And as for those geriatric Union Bosses, they’re not protecting jobs. By desperately and obstructively holding on to the status quo they are effectively destroying jobs. We all know what happened to the Neanderthalers…….