The Institute for Emerging Issues Forum on FutureWork starts today at NC State University

RALEIGH (February 8, 2016) — What’s the future of work in our state, and what can we do to have an economy that works for all North Carolinians? These questions will be floating around Raleigh this week as the Institute for Emerging Issues Forum on FutureWork addresses how automation and rapid technological development is changing how we work, for whom we work, and how our work is rewarded.

Critical to that discussion is assessing the reality of work today as well as recognizing that public policy can play a crucial role in ensuring that technological disruption in employment and automation doesn’t result in a lower quality of life and lower levels of well-being.

“There’s nothing inherently bad about automation, or essentially great about the gig economy,” said Patrick McHugh, economic analyst with the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center, and participant in the IEI Forum Working Group. “The question is whether work pays a wage that can boost the economy and people have the resources they need to adapt to the changing demands of the market.”

Rick Glazier, Executive Director of the NC Justice Center, will participate in a Monday afternoon panel at the Raleigh Convention Center on potential solutions and approaches that would ensure the future of work is one with an economy in which working people can thrive.

“Change only counts as progress if it makes peoples’ lives better. Thankfully, North Carolina has a long history of making smart investments and passing common sense policies that ensure workers and families are able to meet basic needs,” Glazier said. “We can rise to meet the challenges we face today as the future of work changes. To do so, we must ensure through public policies that people who lose their jobs are supported to find a new one or trained for a new career, and that those who work can support their families and boost the economy.”

The NC Justice Center joined with the NC AFL-CIO to talk with workers about the future of work and the continued need for policymakers to focus on good, quality jobs that boost our economy. A video compilation of those comments was released on social media today and can be found at this link:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick McHugh,, 919.856.2183; Jeremy Sprinkle, Communications Director of NC State AFL-CIO,, 919.833.6678.