Department of Economics


Date of this Version



American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 2020, 12(2): 1–34


U.S. government works are not subject to copyright.


Using the text from job ads, we introduce a new dataset to describe the evolution of work from 1950 to 2000. We show that the transformation of the US labor market away from routine cognitive and manual tasks and toward nonroutine interactive and analytic tasks has been larger than prior research has found, with a substantial fraction of total changes occurring within narrowly defined job titles. We provide narrative and systematic evidence on changes in task content within job titles and on the emergence and disappearance of individual job titles. (JEL E24, J21, J24, J31, N32)