This essay went viral in August 2013. The author, David Graeber, an anthropology professor, has a new book titled Bullshit Jobs that expands on the subject.
From the article:
'Over the course of the last century, the number of workers employed as domestic servants, in industry, and in the farm sector has collapsed dramatically. At the same time, ‘professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers’ tripled, growing ‘from one-quarter to three-quarters of total employment.’ In other words, productive jobs have, just as predicted, been largely automated away (even if you count industrial workers globally, including the toiling masses in India and China, such workers are still not nearly so large a percentage of the world population as they used to be.) ”
It’s a 9 minute read and well worth it.