On Tuesday, June 4, Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Todd Young, R-Ind., introduced a bill with the goal of assisting U.S. workers in the job market with more information, as automation filters into more industries.

The Workforce Data for Analyzing and Tracking Automation Act of 2019 (Workforce DATA Act) requires the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to begin collecting more data on job displacement caused by automation and track the changes in skillset demands.

“As automation continues to redefine the everyday operations of our companies, it is essential that we support Michigan workers,” Sen. Peters said in a press release. “This bipartisan legislation would help put our workforce in the best position possible to close skills gaps and thrive as cutting-edge technologies continue to emerge.”

The bill advises that BLS should consult with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for assessment recommendations and requires the BLS secretary to form a subcommittee or advisory board to provide recommendations on addressing automation’s impact on the U.S. workforce.

The Workforce DATA Act also requires that BLS submit reports to Congress, no later than two years after the bill’s enactment. The results of the study would be made public.

“It’s clear that automation is rapidly changing the way our workforce operates. We must be able to track those changes to support workers needing to adapt to changing technology,” Sen. Young said.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.