Fact Sheet: Opportunities Identified by Members of the Digital Economy Board of Advisors

Dec152016

FACT SHEET
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Today, members of the Digital Economy Board of Advisors sent a series of recommendations to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker that identified key actions the U.S. Department of Commerce can take to support the digital economy, encourage growth and increase opportunity. The recommendations were issued by three working groups, established by the Board last spring, that focused on areas where the digital economy has fundamentally transformed the economy. The reports cap six months of intensive work to offer actionable recommendations to the Department along with areas worthy of further study.

The working groups, in their reports issued today, explored the following issues:

The Future of Jobs and Work in the Digital Economy

The “Jobs and Work” working group looked at the foundational values of work in America—proper recognition of skills, good pay for a job well done, opportunities for advancement, security and a strong safety net—and asked how the Department of Commerce can shape the digital economy to both protect those values, while also increasing opportunity and prosperity. The group identified opportunities for the Department of Commerce and the new administration in the following five areas:

  • Modernizing labor market measurements;
  • Post-secondary education;
  • Innovative programs for high-demand skills;
  • Updating U.S. labor laws; and
  • Worker benefits and the social safety net.

Measuring the Digital Economy

The “Measurement” working group recognized that the digital economy has outgrown traditional economic metrics, making it difficult to identify, and leverage, trends and opportunity. The group identified a four-part framework for the Department of Commerce to use to revamp measurement in the digital economy.  The four components of the measurement framework include:

  • The extent of digitization across various sectors of the economy, such as firms, industries, and households;
  • The effect of digitization on activities and outcomes such as search costs, consumer surplus, and supply chain efficiencies;
  • The cumulative impact on economic indicators such as real GDP and productivity; and
  • The monitoring of new, emerging areas of digitization

Empowering Business to Innovate, Compete and Scale by Leveraging Digital Platforms

The “Digital Platforms” group explored how digital platforms could be leveraged by American businesses to better innovate, compete and thrive. The group identified three areas of note on which the Department of Commerce should focus its future efforts:

  • Leveraging Platforms: Empowering Small and Medium Enterprises
  • Enabling Platforms: The Importance of Cross-Border Information Flows; and
  • The Future of Platforms: The Industrial Internet of Things (IoT)

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