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ICT and jobs: Complements or substitutes? The effects of ICT investment on labour demand by skills and by industry in selected OECD countries

This report examines the effects of investments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on i) total labour demand; ii) labour demand by skill level; and iii) labour demand by industry in selected OECD countries over the period 1990-2012. ICT investments are estimated to have raised total labour demand in most countries over the period 1990-2007 but to have reduced it after 2007. In the latter period, the decrease in total labour demand has been accompanied by polarisation in favour of high and low skills and against medium skills. Yet, the effects on both total labour demand and polarisation are estimated to disappear in the long run. These changes have occurred through a process of labour reallocation across industries, away from manufacturing and towards some services, including care, culture and recreation.