Bill Johnston has a long history of studying and writing about labor market trends. Early in his career, he co-authored Work is Here to Stay, Alas, as a research fellow at George Washington University. As a policy staffer in the Carter White House, he covered labor relations and transportation investment. After being voted out of the White House in 1980, he studied the public workforce system by filing for unemployment insurance. In the early 1980’s he joined the Hudson Institute, where he coauthored (with Arnold Packer) Workforce 2000 a study funded by the US Department of Labor. A follow-up report, “Global Workforce 2000,” appeared in the Harvard Business Review in 1991.
More recently, Mr. Johnston has shifted from long term analyses to practical solutions. As the president of TORQworks, he leads a team that helps unemployed workers find new careers, based on the skills they demonstrated in previous jobs. The company’s software, called TORQ, is used by public workforce agencies in seven states.
Mr. Johnston and his colleague Dick Judy are currently working on a new book, called Work in the Age of Robots. Spoiler alert: human work is still here to stay, alas.