Automation of job tasks has been occurring for centuries, boosting productivity and giving rise to new jobs that provide employment and contribute to rising living standards. However, technological progress also threatens established business models and can lead to job losses because it allows the automation of tasks that previously had to be done by people. The labour saving effects of automation can be sudden, while it often takes more time to create jobs. Furthermore, the skill profi les of jobs that are lost due to automation and the skill profi les of the jobs that replace them typically do not coincide. Automation can lead to temporary, but possibly prolonged, increases in unemployment. The changing demand for workers with particular skills affects wage levels. It causes permanent gains or losses for some groups of workers. Automation and digitalisation translate into job polarisation. OECD countries have seen a decline in middle-wage, middle-skill employment as a share of the workforce over the past two decades, 9.5 percentage points on average over the period 1995-2015. In contrast, workers who perform nonroutine tasks have increased their share of total employment, 7.6 percentage points. Typically, these jobs are either high-skilled (e.g. managerial positions) or low-skilled (e.g. personal care services). Both ends of the skill distribution of jobs have increased while the middle has declined.