There is no doubt that the application of microelectronic devices in processes and products can result in significant increases in labour productivity. There is considerably less agreement, however, on the implications of this for future employment prospects. The predictions which have been made concerning the impact of the microprocessor and its related technology on the economy and employment cover the entire range, from economic expansion and job creation at one extreme, to recession and large‐scale persistent unemployment at the other. A large number of these forecasts, however, are based on a limited analysis of the technological, economic, demographic and social factors involved and exhibit a general lack of awareness of certain basic historical trends in the labour market.
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