Robots, new working ways to cost 5 mln jobs by 2020, Davos study says

Robots, new working ways to cost 5 mln jobs by 2020, Davos study says

DAVOS – Reuters
Robots, new working ways to cost 5 mln jobs by 2020, Davos study says


Disruptive labor market changes, including the rise of robots and artificial intelligence, will result in a net loss of 5.1 million jobs over the next five years in 15 leading countries, according to an analysis published in Davos on Jan. 18.

The projection by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is holding its annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort this week, assumes a total loss of 7.1 million jobs, offset by a gain of 2 million new positions. 
The 15 economies covered by the survey account for approximately 65 percent of the world’s total workforce. 

The assessment highlights the challenges posed by modern technologies that are automating and making redundant multiple human tasks, from manufacturing to healthcare. 

With the International Labour Organization, part of the United Nations, already forecasting an increase in global unemployment of 11 million by 2020, the size of the additional job losses is sobering. 

Two-thirds of the projected losses are expected to fall in the office and administrative sectors as smart machines take over more routine tasks, according to latest findings, which are based on a global survey of personnel and strategy executives. 

The WEF has made “the fourth industrial revolution” - a topic covering robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing and biotechnology - the official theme of this year’s Davos meeting, which runs from Jan. 20 to 23. 

The “Future of Jobs” report concluded that jobs would be displaced in every industry, although the impact would vary considerably, with the biggest negative losses likely to be in healthcare, reflecting the rise of telemedicine, followed by energy and financial services. 

Separately, four out of ten young people believe machines will be able to do their jobs within a decade, an international survey published on Jan. 18 has found. 

Nearly half of young workers surveyed in Western countries said their education did not prepare them to do their jobs. 

The skills gap is especially pronounced in Europe, according to a poll of 9,000 16- to 25-year-olds in nine of the world’s biggest nations commissioned by Indian business and software services firm Infosys. 

Almost 80 percent globally said they had to learn new skills not taught them in school and that rapid technology change - the threat of being overtaken by robots or smart systems - required constant learning of fresh skills to compensate. 

The study surveyed around 1,000 young people each in Australia, Brazil, Britain, China, France, Germany, India and the United States, as well as South Africa, where a smaller sample of 700 was polled.