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Technology & Innovation

Western Economic Stagnatation

Why the jobless recovery? Our scientists and technologists have not been able to create inventions that can be industrialised at the same pace as they once did.

What underpinned the great postwar boom was the industrialisation of inventions made between 1910 and 1940. The goods that poured out of the west’s factories between 1950 and 1975 provided employment and rising real wages for the mass of the U.S.’s and Europe’s citizens. But the “low-hanging fruit” that delivered such benefits is disappearing. Productivity advances are not being made in booming new industries; they are being made by laying people off or moving production to low-cost countries in Asia. One way or another, falling workforces in the west are producing broadly the same output. Nor is the internet a great job generator.


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