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Digital Society Initiative

18.05.22: The end of work: why it won’t happen

The end of work: why it won’t happen

Prof. Dr.  Daniel Oesch | Assistant Professor
Institut des sciences sociales (ISS), LINES - Life course and Social Inequality Research Center, University of Lausanne – Geopolis, 1015 Lausanne

Host: Philipp Kerksieck, , Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Public and Organizational Health, University of Zurich


Wednesday Mai 18. 2022, 17:45-19:15


Few days pass without media reports predicting the end of work. Ever more sophisticated robots and artificial intelligence are seen as inexorably replacing human labour. These predictions about technological unemployment are as old as the Industrial Revolutions – and so far labour force statistics have invariably proved them wrong. Our talk explains where the predictions about the end of work went wrong and why technological does not per se reduce the demand for work. Based on labour market data, it then shows what instead has happened to the employment structure of Europe over the last decades. If we wish to anticipate the future of work, jobs and skills, the most promising strategy lies in clearly understanding the present changes in the job structure.



Daniel Oesch is Professor of Economic Sociology at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lausanne. He previously worked at the Universities of Geneva and Zurich as well as Carlos III in Madrid and Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. For six years, he worked as national secretary for the Swiss Trade Union Confederation (SGB) in Bern. His research focuses on social inequality and the labour market. He is the author of two monographs: Redrawing the Class Map (Palgrave Macmillan 2006) and Occupational Change in Europe (Oxford University Press 2013).

Weiterführende Informationen

Recording der Veranstaltung vom 18.05.2022

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Prof. Dr. Daniel Oesch