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2018 BRC Session: The Future Of California Workers

KONA, HI, May 8, 2018 – The future of work is a hugely complex issue – one that is as complex socially and politically as it is technologically, Blue Ribbon Conference Speaker & WCIRB Chief Actuary Dave Bellusci told conference attendees today.

“One of the prevailing narratives regarding the current U.S. labor market is that technology is destroying more jobs than it is creating, but that has been true for the last 160 years,” Bellusci said when quoting the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation.

An estimated 80% to 90% of the current jobs will be eliminated in the next 10 to 15 years, Bellusci said, and another study shows that one in three jobs could be taken over by a computer or a robot in the next 20 years.

“We’ve lived through tech revolutions before, and yes, technology has and will make certain professions redundant,” Bellusci said. “But, the new gig economy creates new opportunities and enables new ways to work.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the single biggest economic challenge facing advanced economies today is not too much labor market churn, but too little, and thus too little productivity growth, Bellusci said.

“Increasing productivity is the only way to improve living standards – yet productivity in the last decade has advanced at the slowest rate in 75 years.”

However, Bellusci said, California insured payroll is expected to grow more than 40% by 2024.

As for workers’ compensation insurance, Bellusci said, the use of wearable devices as a safety measure will continue to grow.  And medical advances will continue to change how injured workers will be treated in the future.