Winners And Losers In The Digital Economy

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Those With Skills And Those Without

Up until the 1970s, the U.S. was able to provide work for people with all skill levels, from high school dropouts to those with advanced college degrees, according to Brynjolfsson. But in recent decades, incomes for those with high school educations (or who dropped out) have been falling, and incomes for those with some college education have been flat. But, people with college degrees "have actually done quite well," he said.

"There's been a divergence, which economists call a 'skill-biased technical change,'" he said. The result: People with limited skills have difficulty finding employment while businesses have trouble filling jobs -- such as in high-tech manufacturing -- that require higher skill levels.

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