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Sybrand Brekelmans and Georgios Petropoulos



Articles by Sybrand Brekelmans and Georgios Petropoulos

Job polarisation and the Great Recession

November 3, 2020

A job polarisation trend has seen relatively more workers in the European Union employed in skilled and unskilled jobs, while mid-skilled jobs have been squeezed. Since the Great Recession, the supply of university graduates has risen, but the labour market’s demand for skills has not kept up. Graduates have, however, fared better than less-educated workers in terms of wages.
The technological advancements of the last few decades have been a major source of job polarisation. This means that demand for workers has increased for both well-paid skilled jobs (typically requiring non-routine cognitive skills; for example, managerial and professional roles) and low-paid least-skilled jobs (requiring non-routine manual skills, such as cleaning or agricultural jobs), while demand has fallen for

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Artificial intelligence’s great impact on low and middle-skilled jobs

June 29, 2020

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will significantly transform low-skilled jobs that have not yet been negatively affected by past technological change.
The academic literature suggests that, in the past decades, technological progress has led to job polarisation in European Union countries. While computer technologies and robots have replaced, to some extent, routine middle-skilled jobs such as machine operation, construction work or administrative work, they have also led to an increase in complementary, non-routine high-skilled jobs (eg managers, professionals) and in low-skilled jobs (eg agriculture, cleaning and personal care services). However, our new research suggests that the new technologies that have emerged since 2010 – artificial intelligence and machine learning –

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Occupational change, artificial intelligence and the geography of EU labour markets

June 15, 2020

From 2002 up to 2009, the economies of European Union countries went through a skill upgrading, rather than a polarisation between low-skill and high-skill jobs. After 2009, this changed, with declining real wages and a significant increase in the share of workers in low-skill jobs. This assessment evaluates these changes in connection with labour market variables, population densities and the emergence of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

We study the nature and geography of occupational change in 24 European Union countries from 2002 to 2016. We evaluate how the composition of skills in the labour force depends on new technologies enabled by artificial intelligence and machine learning, and on institutional variables including educational attainment, labour legislation and

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