Preparing U.S. Workers and Employers for an Autonomous Vehicle Future

The authors study the probable effects of automated vehicles (AVs) on U.S. workers, and how these effects can be managed. They offer simulations and scenarios of crucial impacts, and recommend policies to mitigate unfortunate impacts while also setting an agenda for policy research. The authors hope to motivate policymakers and interested parties to act now to reduce the negative effects on workers. They find that the introduction of AVs could eliminate up to 2.3 million jobs over the next 30 years. While effects in the near future will be limited, the maximum simulated impact (during the 2040s) could raise the unemployment rate by about 0.1 percentage points for a number of years, with harsher impacts in depressed communities or during recessions. Drawing upon past dislocations, the authors estimate that a laid-off worker would lose about $80,000 in lifetime income, for a total loss of about $180 billion for workers. These forecasts take into account the probable age of dislocated workers; on average such workers would have about 16 years left of their careers. Most of the displaced workers would find new jobs or retire, but the process would be long and may lead to wage fluctuations. The authors indicate three sources of new employment: growth in transportation, new labor needs in the AV industries, and increased purchases of goods and services by consumers spending less on transportation. With driving no longer needed, many job duties will greatly change. Such jobs employed nearly 8 million people in 2016. Changes in duties could result in better or worse jobs in terms of pay and skills, and the authors explore a range of possibilities. There are many options for helping workers in affected occupations. Planning in the U.S needs to start now so that the spread of AVs does not harm workers and compensates them for losses. The economic benefits of AVs have been estimated at up to $1 trillion per year, and will provide adequate resources for such policy. According to the authors' forecasts, employment disruptions will not start in large numbers until the 2030s and will be gradual, so with advance planning, the task is manageable.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 149p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01675263
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 19 2018 2:44PM