Automation, digital platforms and other innovations are changing the nature of work. Understanding these shifts can help policy makers, business leaders and workers move forward, writes James Manyika of McKinsey in a briefing note prepared for the Fortune + Time Global Forum. 

The world of work is in a state of flux.  There is growing polarisation of labour-market opportunities between high and low skill jobs, unemployment and underemployment (especially among young people), and stagnating incomes for a large share of households. Migration and its effects on jobs has become a sensitive political issue in many advanced economies. And from Manchester to Mumbai, public debate rages about the future of work and whether there will be enough jobs to gainfully employ everyone.

The development of automation, enabled by technologies including robotics and artificial intelligence, brings the promise of higher productivity, increased efficiencies, safety, and convenience. But it also raises difficult questions about the broader impact on jobs, skills, wages, and the nature of work itself.

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