Articles and reports of interest February 2021

In each of our CLEW'd In Newsletters we gather a selection of interesting articles and reports received at CLEW from a range of sources and on a range of topics related to employment and work. In particular we acknowledge the APO Policy Weekly for alerting us to interesting papers from across the Tasman. The following are articles collected in January and February for our February edition of CLEW'd IN, CLEW's bi-monthly newsletter.

Are New Technologies Changing the Nature of Work? The Evidence So Far (January 2021) published by the Institute for Research on Public Policy in Montreal, Canada.

The study looks at the evidence that work is being changed by new technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation technology. In this paper, Kristyn Frank and Marc Frenette offer insights on these questions, based on the new research they conducted with their colleague Zhe Yang at Statistics Canada. Two aspects of work are under the microscope: the mix of work activities (or tasks) that constitute a job, and the mix of jobs in the economy. If new automation technologies are indeed changing the nature of work, the authors argue, then nonautomatable tasks should be increasingly important, and employment should be shifting toward occupations primarily involving such tasks.

The Shape of Australia’s Post COVID-19 Workforce (December 2020), a report from the Australian National Skills Commission.

This second major report from the National Skills Commission (NSC) explores the nature of Australia’s labour market and skills recovery from the pandemic.

Working from home: From invisibility to decent work, (2021) International labour organisation (ILO), Geneva.

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, large portions of the world’s workforce shifted to homeworking, joining hundreds of millions of other workers who had already been working from home for decades. Though working from home has long been an important feature of the world of work, the institutions that govern the labour market are rarely designed with the home as a workplace in mind. The sudden rise in homeworking brings renewed urgency to the need to appreciate the implications of home work for both workers and employers. This report seeks to improve understanding of home work and to advance guidance on policies that can pave the way to decent work for homeworkers both old and new.