The economic weather has been clearing. In the United States, unemployment stands at a little more than 4 percent; at long last, wages are growing faster than productivity. Investors expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in order to fight the inflation that accompanies full employment. There are even labor shortages in key industries, such as manufacturing, construction, and trucking, according to the Fed. Workers feel new confidence. In December, 2.2 percent quit their jobs, the highest rate since 2001. All over the industrialized world, there is good news: Many workers now expect to keep their jobs or find better ones.
But the good news arrives at a moment of general anxiety about the future of work. Smart people fret that artificial intelligence and robots are rapidly eliminating jobs. According to one estimate published by BCG and the World Economic Forum last month, 1.4 million [...]