collage of lightbulb and other symbols and text and orange and blue background  In hospitals, semi-autonomous service robots could reduce the overall number of people employed as orderlies, dietary clerks, and laundry workers. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Tech’s effects on job quality — including wages and working conditions — should be as much of a concern for employers as its effects on the total number of jobs available. That’s the conclusion of a new report released by the UC Berkeley Labor Center on how and why employers in key industries are deploying new technologies, and what effects these changes could have on workers.

Titled “Technological change in five industries: Threats to jobs, wages, and working conditions,” the report synthesizes the findings from studies released by the Labor Center and Working Partnerships USA from 2018 to 2022. Those original studies examined employers’ use of technology in five industries — health care, trucking, warehouses, retail, and food delivery — likely to experience technology-induced changes in the coming years.

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