Abstract - The Information Society 3 (2)

Computer-Related Labor in the 1980s: Supply and Demand

Charles Barr and Manfred Kochen

Serious labor shortages in computer-related occupations have developed as the demand for information professionals has continued to grow rapidly. This shortage poses important implications for employment, education, and the design of technology. Examined are the fast-growing and volatile occupational categories of computer operator, computer programmer, and computer systems analyst. Analysis indicates that, during the 1980s, persons with expertise in many areas of computers, particularly those who have both a generalist-managerial perspective and technical know-how, will be in great demand. Education, training, unemployment, and investment policies are needed to provide a skilled computer-related workforce and to mitigate the effects of undesirable structural changes in labor patterns. Computer-related labor markets will continue to be volatile as automation rapidly transforms the economy and individual lifestyles.

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