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The 85 million jobs predicted to go to robots

  • October 22 2020
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The 85 million jobs predicted to go to robots

By Cameron Micallef
October 22 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an acceleration of technology, with 85 million people likely to lose their jobs to robots in the next five years, research has found.

The 85 million jobs predicted to go to robots

The 85 million jobs predicted to go to robots

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  • October 22 2020
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The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an acceleration of technology, with 85 million people likely to lose their jobs to robots in the next five years, research has found.

The 85 million jobs predicted to go to robots

A report commissioned by the World Economic Forum (WEF) which interviewed chief executives, chief strategy officers and chief human resources found that 15 per cent of the workforce is likely to be disrupted, with 6 per cent displaced.

“The COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns and related global recession of 2020 have created a highly uncertain outlook for the labour market and accelerated the arrival of the future of work,” the report found.

“Automation, in tandem with the COVID-19 recession, is creating a ‘double disruption’ scenario for workers. In addition to the current disruption from the pandemic-induced lockdowns and economic contraction, technological adoption by companies will transform tasks, jobs and skills by 2025.”

To remain in the workforce over the next five years, people will need to learn new skills, or by 2025 employers will divide work between machine and human.

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The report found that algorithms and machines will be primarily focused on the tasks of information and data processing and retrieval, administrative tasks and some aspects of traditional manual labour. 

The tasks where humans are expected to retain their comparative advantage include managing, advising, decision making, reasoning, communicating and interacting. 

However, unlike the last financial downturn, the jobs creation is slowing while the job destruction is accelerating as companies around the world look to use big data instead of hiring humans for admin and accountant duties.

Despite this, the WEF estimates that 97 more jobs will emerge across the economy, in technologies in eluding artificial intelligence and in content creation which are roles humans specialise in over robotics.  

“Algorithms and machines will be primarily focused on the tasks of information and data processing and retrieval, administrative tasks and some aspects of traditional manual labour,” the report said.

“The tasks where humans are expected to retain their comparative advantage include managing, advising, decision making, reasoning, communicating and interacting.”

To help cope with the changes coming, businesses need to be supported by governments.

“The public sector needs to provide stronger support for reskilling and upskilling for at-risk or displaced workers. 

Currently, only 21 per cent of businesses report being able to make use of public funds to support their employees through reskilling and upskilling,” the report concluded.

The 85 million jobs predicted to go to robots
The 85 million jobs predicted to go to robots
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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