The job market of the future

BNR Nieuwsradio

BNR Nieuwsradio discusses the future job market together with Sandra Phlippen, Assistant Professor at Erasmus School of Economics and Chief Economist at ABN AMRO.

3-day work week

According to Sandra Phlippen, working stands for more than just putting food on the table. In her ideal world, work is a way of development and it should help you discover what possibilities you have as an individual. Phlippen predicts that we are going to work fewer hours, towards a work week of 3 days. Our level of prosperity has been rising throughout history. Wages and level of education also increased. If this trend continues, people will have such high wages at some point that they are going to weigh an hour of work against an extra hour of free time. After all, if you earn enough money you can afford to have more free time.

Race between technology and education

Phlippen also has concerns. If we jointly work fewer hours, part of the work will be taken over by automatic processes. She foresees a small group of people, likely technicians, whom the employer is eager to have. This is a select group who can ask for- and receive any salary. A modern-day example is Silicon Valley. On the other hand, there is a group that competes with the automation process. Renowned economist Jan Tinbergen already described this process in his work and called it the race between technology and education. As technology develops, there is an increasingly smaller group that can keep up with the progress through schooling to master the skills needed.

A wise lesson

Sandra Phlippen stresses that the most important lesson for your children is that learning new things is fun. You cannot know what will be expected of your children, but it’s probably not what you think it is, says Phlippen. She advises that they should most of all keep having fun in learning.

Assistant professor
More information

Listen to the entire item of BNR Nieuwsradio here, 4 March 2020 (in Dutch).