August 30, 2017

Editorial: Labor Day, education and robots

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Wikimedia Commons / Steve Jurvetson

Massachusetts ranks 32nd in robots per thousand workers.

Monday is the 130th anniversary of Labor Day in Massachusetts.

Labor Day “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Aside from also marking the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day has traditionally signified the start of the educational year, when institutions of elementary, secondary and higher education reconvene.

There’s a certain serendipity to honoring workers at the time when people of all ages continue anew their quest for education. Two recent studies suggest that never in history has the connection between education and employment been more apparent.

In his recent paper “Education and State Economic Strength: A Snapshot of Current Data,” Jeremy Thompson, senior policy analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, writes, “The emergence of a knowledge-based economy over the past several decades has led to a widening gap between workers with bachelor’s degrees and those without.”

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