According to a report by the consultancy firm, McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), one-third of the United States workers can lose their jobs and an estimated 800 million people across the globe could lose their jobs by 2030 due to increase in automation. The report is titled as Jobs lost, jobs gained: Workforce transitions in a time of automation.
The report estimates that as many as 375 million workers or 14% of the global workforce will have to find new work due to automation. According to the report results, restaurant workers and machine operators are most likely to be replaced. On the other hand, jobs of gardeners, plumbers, child and elder-care workers are the safest ones as they remain challenging to automate and these occupations don’t earn a high income.
“Even if there is enough work to ensure full employment by 2030, major transitions lie ahead that could match or even exceed the scale of historical shifts out of agriculture and manufacturing,” according to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute published this month. “Even as it causes declines in some occupations, automation will change many more – 60 percent of occupations have at least 30 percent of constituent work activities that could be automated.”
According to the MGI researchers, the jobs “most susceptible to automation include physical ones in predictable environments, such as operating machinery and preparing fast food. Collecting and processing data are two other categories of activities that increasingly can be done better and faster with machines. This could displace large amounts of labor—for instance, in mortgage origination, paralegal work, accounting, and back-office transaction processing.”
Not only the labor, with an increase in automation there will be an increase in income inequality in the entire United States. And if the rate of reemployment is slow, it would increase the frictional unemployment and decrease the wages.
In order to get employed soon, the workers must embrace the training in other fields and the government and companies will have to help in training them in order to achieve a smooth transition. “Beyond retraining, a range of policies can help, including unemployment insurance, public assistance in finding work, and portable benefits that follow workers between jobs” as well as “[p]ossible solutions to supplement incomes, such as more comprehensive minimum wage policies, universal basic income, or wage gains tied to productivity.”
However, the report mentions that there wouldn’t be much unemployment because if even some tasks are automated, those workers would rather perform some new tasks.
What do you think about automation and its impacts in the future? Share your views in the comments!