As the title so subtly suggests, I am looking for a word describing someone whose job was replaced or eliminated by advances in technology.

For example:

Blue-Collar Bill, a [noun], is searching for a new job now.

Maybe a verb/participle implying this would work too:

Blue-Collar Bill was [participle]; he was replaced by a sowing machine.

Or maybe,

My [adjective] friend, Blue-Collar Bill, is going to technical school so that he will not feel obsolete anymore.

Another way to put it is that I am looking for a more concise way to say "made obsolete/displaced/replaced by an advance in technology".

I can add more examples if desired.

  • 1
    The term for this situation might be 'Structural unemployment'. Not sure what the person wiil be called. ''structurally unemployed person...?''
    – Nikki
    Feb 9 '17 at 3:56
  • what @Nikki said. maybe a victim of structural unemployment
    – Jim
    Feb 9 '17 at 4:25
  • @Jim Actually reminds me of 'Mr. Bucket' from Charlie and the Chocolate family:)
    – Nikki
    Feb 9 '17 at 5:20
  • @Nikki, I think you should add your comment as an answer.
    – Daniel
    Feb 9 '17 at 16:40
  • Downsized means fired, and very likely due to automation. Feb 9 '17 at 17:25

It's difficult to come up with something more appropriate than obsolete or displaced without using a phrase. The word superannuated means exactly what you'd like, but it's not commonly used.

Superannuated Via Oxford

Outdated or obsolete through age or new developments: "Superannuated computing equipment", "a superannuated hippy"

Via Google Dictionary

Obsolete through age or new technological or intellectual developments

Synonyms: old, old-fashioned, antiquated, out of date, outmoded, broken-down, obsolete, disused, defunct

I'd suggest your displaced as an alternative, or perhaps defunct.

  • Oxford and google are, usually, largely identical in meanings. Although two sources are not needed, I would recommend ones with different angles of saying the same thing. It better proves your answer as viable. +1 anyways
    – Hank
    Feb 9 '17 at 4:08

'A victim of technological unemployment...', is the least apt suggestion I'll give (couldn't find one word, my apologies).

Technological unemployment is the loss of jobs caused by technological change. Such change typically includes the introduction of labour-saving "mechanical-muscle" machines or more efficient "mechanical-mind" processes (automation).
-Just as horses employed as prime movers were gradually made obsolete by the automobile.
-Historical examples include artisan weavers reduced to poverty after the introduction of mechanised looms.
-A contemporary example of technological unemployment is the displacement of retail cashiers by self- service tills.

The phrase "technological unemployment" was popularised by John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s.

Dictionary.com also defines it as:
Noun: unemployment caused by technological changes or new methods of production in an industry or business.

Blue-Collar Bill, a [victim of technological unemployment ] , is searching for a new job now.

I didnot answer structural unemployment because it has 'not only technological' but a wide-range of factors causing unemployment (now that I see).

Technological unemployment is a form of structural unemployment wherein the structure of the economy changes with the shifts in demand for manpower due to the introduction of new machinery, time-saving technology and improved methods of production.


You can say

bill was made redundant by the technological advance.

The meaning is more broad than "technological advance" but it still makes sense here.

Bill could also be "made redundant" by a number of other reasons. Maybe he was laid off, his job was outsourced, etc. The term means that his work was no longer necessary.

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