Here's What Happened To The American Farmer

If you ever wondered how the US economy could create new jobs to replace old ones lost, check out the chart below. Back in 1850, farming employed over 50% of the population. Today, it employs only a tiny fraction of Americans, even as the variety and quality of our food choices has substantially improved.

US manufacturing tells a similar story, though at an earlier stage. America produces more using far less people, and this progression away from manual labour is likely to continue. While Americans’ individual work dislocations should be managed to reduce suffering, a read of history should make us optimistic about this process over the long haul.

Male employment in blue, female in red. You can break the data down into further detail via the the awesome chart found here >

US labour Force

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