There is no question that technology is changing the job market. And while the world’s economy is expected to gain new jobs because of technology, experts are predicting that technology could cause even more to lose their job.
According to a report released Sunday by the World Economic Forum, new technologies could cause a net loss of 14 million global jobs through 2027. The group expects that the world will gain about 69 million jobs because of new technologies, but there will be 83 million people who will lose their employment because of technology.
A net loss of 14 million jobs worldwide would cut the global workforce by 2%, the group said.
In a survey of businesses, the World Economic Forum found that 34% of all business-related tasks are being performed by machines, up by 1% from 2020. Although companies are tempering their expectations from automation, advancements in artificial intelligence could replace more workers.
“While expectations of the displacement of physical and manual work by machines has decreased, reasoning, communicating and coordinating – all traits with a comparative advantage for humans – are expected to be more automatable in the future,” the report stated. “Artificial intelligence, a key driver of potential algorithmic displacement, is expected to be adopted by nearly 75% of surveyed companies and is expected to lead to high churn – with 50% of organizations expecting it to create job growth and 25% expecting it to create job losses.”
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The World Economic Forum lists some of the occupations expected to be most affected by digitization and automation:
- Record-keeping and administrative roles, including cashiers and ticket clerks
- Data entry
- Bookkeeping and payroll clerks
- Administrative and executive secretaries
The report noted that about 6 in 10 workers will need to adapt new skills over the next four years, but only half will have adequate access to job training.
“For people around the world, the past three years have been filled with upheaval and uncertainty for their lives and livelihoods, with COVID-19, geopolitical and economic shifts, and the rapid advancement of AI and other technologies now risks adding more uncertainty,” said Saadia Zahidi, managing director of the World Economic Forum. “The good news is that there is a clear way forward to ensure resilience. Governments and businesses must invest in supporting the shift to the jobs of the future through the education, reskilling and social support structures that can ensure individuals are at the heart of the future of work.”
With job losses in some fields, the World Economic Forum expects gains in education, agriculture and green energy workforces.
“The sustained growth of green jobs is really great news, particularly for job seekers who are facing upheaval in the labor market,” Sue Duke, head of global public policy at LinkedIn, said in a statement. “But LinkedIn’s data is clear that while there’s strong demand for talent with green skills, people are not developing green skills at anywhere near a fast enough rate to meet climate targets. There is an opportunity for everyone to help turn this around.”
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