The tech sector is in an extraordinary crisis.
Tech giants like Facebook and Twitter have struggled to stay afloat.
And some of the companies that have thrived in this new environment have gone out of business.
But it’s also not just tech companies that are in a precarious position.
They’re in danger of becoming a third sector.
It’s an industry that can only flourish when there are a steady supply of jobs and an abundance of people to fill them.
A new report by the nonpartisan Center for Economic and Policy Research shows that technology is a crucial part of the answer.
Tech is a major driver of the American economy, providing jobs, income and growth, but its role in the economy has been declining over the past decade.
In 2017, the top three tech companies accounted for just 3.2 percent of jobs created, according to a recent report by McKinsey and Company.
The next-biggest industry was services, with 3.5 percent.
The top three sectors are consumer and leisure services, financial services and health care.
“The number one challenge facing the United States is that it’s a manufacturing economy and that means there are so many jobs available,” says James Martin, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and the author of The Rise of the Machine: How Technology and the Jobless Economy Created the New American Economy.
“There are no good jobs in the tech industry right now.
You have to have a whole lot of bad jobs, and the problem is, they’re going to stay there, whether it’s in a robot factory or a factory that makes robots.”
The report lays out the ways in which the tech sector and the economy are struggling, and it highlights the challenges facing the country’s tech companies.
The most notable of those problems are robots, which are a growing threat to jobs and wages.
Tech workers in particular are at risk of losing their jobs.
The report identifies four areas that are particularly vulnerable to automation.
These are jobs that require high-skill and technical skills, like software engineering and machine learning; those that require an advanced degree in fields like science, technology, engineering and math; and those that rely on high-skilled workers who can operate robots.
In short, they require more than a high school diploma.
“We’ve had an incredible boom in robotics over the last decade,” Martin says.
“I mean, the number of robots in the world, the size of the market, it’s been staggering.
And we’re now seeing a massive shift in the way that the jobs that people are creating are being done.”
Technology companies like Google and Amazon have been working hard to create the skills needed for a world of automated machines, with plans to create 100,000 robots within the next five years.
But as robots take over jobs that once were done by humans, they could eventually threaten the jobs of many more Americans.
“One of the biggest problems is the fact that it could happen quickly, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” Martin said.
“It’s the fact we’re not making a lot of money.”
The problems facing tech companies are so severe that they’ve already begun to pay for some of their workforce with a form of tax-exempt stock.
This year, Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft began selling stock options that grant stock options to their employees.
It allows the companies to sell stock to employees, and they are selling stock for as much as 10 times their original value.
It also lets them pay employees dividends on the stock.
These options can be used for things like salaries, vacation, health insurance and retirement benefits.
However, it also allows the stock to be bought and sold at any time and the companies have to declare any profits that they earn.
They are not required to disclose the value of their stock options.
“In my view, these stock options are a very valuable piece of financial instrument for the tech companies,” Martin explained.
“When you’re talking about a $1 billion company, a stock option is worth a little more than $1 million.
So they’re giving a very high return for what they’re paying their employees.”
However, the stock options also come with a huge cost, and for many workers, this cost could be the biggest barrier to getting ahead in the new economy.
“If I had $100 million in the stock option, and all of a sudden I had a robot come and take it, that would be a very, very bad thing for my family,” said Scott Stumpf, an adjunct professor of economics at George Mason University.
“They’re giving you a huge amount of control over your future.”
In 2017 alone, the tech industries lost nearly a million jobs.
That was the most in four years.
The tech industry was once a juggernaut that would have the largest economy in the history of the world.
Today, it is struggling.
The companies that once stood out as leaders are struggling to stay relevant.