Title: Occupational restructuring in US high-tech manufacturing: 1983-1995
Authors: Bill Luker Jr, Donald Lyons
Addresses: Department of Geography, PO Box 305279, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203-5279, USA. Department of Geography, PO Box 305279, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203-5279, USA
Abstract: We survey occupation-by-industry panel data from 1983 to 1995, documenting major changes in the occupational structure of employment in US high-tech manufacturing industries. On the non-production side, defence spending cutbacks, technical change and production strategies chosen in response to technical change are causing better-paid computer professionals and more senior executives to displace specialised computer technicians, administrative and managerial support workers and single-discipline engineers. On the production side, the same factors converge, creating the inverse of that trend: less well-trained and therefore less well-paid workers are replacing the more skilled. Although production-side down-skilling can sometimes be viewed as a relative up-skilling or re-skilling for operators and assemblers, these two main trends in high-tech occupational restructuring are exacerbating, rather than mitigating, growing wage and income inequality in the USA.
Keywords: high-technology manufacturing; occupational restructuring; employment change.
International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, 2003 Vol.3 No.1, pp.70-94
Published online: 13 Jul 2003 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article