The Future Of Labor


Author Fred Wilson recently discussed the ever-changing future of the American workforce and what trends will have the largest impact.

While we’ve heard a lot about globalization and outsourcing over the past thirty years, the next two big megatrends are starting to emerge. They are the move to an on-demand model for work and the automation of work.

We’ve seen huge growths in online labor clouds, which include freelancers, contractors, and full-time employees. When companies need something done now, they issue the work order to the labor cloud and someone picks up the work order and gets it done. This method could easily extend to many other operational aspects of a company including customer service and marketing.

The rise of labor clouds could allow an employer to get the work done without thinking about the kind of relationship they have with the worker. This “on-demand” model for work is one Fred Wilson predicts will explode in the coming decades.

While this doesn’t mean that all work opportunities will be gone in fifty years, what it does mean it that the nature of work and the way people work will change quite dramatically. Some jobs will go from being full-time employment to on-demand employment and that will require big adjustments from everyone, including policymakers.

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