Blockchain seen as ‘cure’ for global labor market: report

Blockchain can help individuals regain control over their personal data amid rising insecurity in the global labor market, according to a new report.

The report from the American Council on Education was based on research conducted between November 2019 and February 2020, before the worldwide economic disruption of the COVID-19 crisis.

Based on data collected before the crisis, the report suggests as many as 4 in 10 recent college graduates were already underemployed, with the average time in an employment having fallen to just 4.2 years.

According to the report’s authors, blockchain technology can help individuals control and track the credentials they need to navigate this increasingly challenging domain.

In the report, they write that “blockchain technology, in particular” can help create “more efficient, durable connections between education and work”, stored electronically for easier management.

Blockchain’s unique attributes of a tamper proof, shared ledger could optimize human capital and promote competitiveness and social mobility.

According to the authors, “As a society and economy, we must […] support improved opportunity to learn for all, preserve evidence of all quality learning, ensure equitable use of learning data, and empower learners and workers to use their data to pursue a prosperous life and promote economic growth. In the consensus-driven spirit of blockchain, we can achieve these aspirations together.”

The report specifically discusses “human capital data”, information about individuals such as academic qualifications and work history. This could allow employees to more efficiently “transact” with “education, employer, and workforce stakeholders.”

Their research shows that current practice limits employee control of these records, creating a lack of agency for individuals in the labor market.

With the help of self-sovereign identity-related standards, blockchain can create reliable, real-time records of this information controlled by the individual that can be easily shared with relevant third parties.

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