Employers ask more from office and administrative support workers when new technology becomes part of their jobs

Office workers

Office and administrative support (OAS) occupations currently represent about 13 percent of U.S. employment, a share larger than manufacturing. As with other sectors of the labor market, adoption of new technology is prevalent, and it impacts OAS workers and their labor markets.

The extent to which this is happening is the subject of a new Upjohn Institute working paper, "Computerization of White Collar Jobs," by Marcus Dillender (University of Illinois at Chicago) and Eliza Forsythe (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). The authors use online job postings from 2007 and 2010–2016 and find that technology adoption leads to employers seeking workers with increased levels of skill and experience. In addition, there is no reduction in the duties associated with OAS jobs which means that workers in those positions are being asked to add new, high-skill tasks to their duties. Dillender and Forsythe also find that, overall adoption of new technology for OAS occupations benefits local labor markets, although certain segments are negatively impacted.

Download "Computerization of White Collar Jobs," by Marcus Dillender and Eliza Forsythe.