Jobs will change rather than disappear with increasing automation, study says
24 March 2017
Jobs will change rather than disappear over the next decade as robots are increasingly used in the world of work, a study says.
Up to a third of existing jobs could face automation by the early 2030s, but new Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies could boost production and generate more jobs, PwC said.
Its analysis found that the UK has fewer jobs at potential risk of automation than in other countries including Germany, the United States and Japan.
Jobs in transportation and storage, manufacturing and retail are most likely to be automated, while the lowest risks are in education, health and social work, the report said.
John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, said: "A key driver of our industry-level estimates is the fact that manual and routine tasks are more susceptible to automation, while social skills are relatively less automatable.
"That said, no industry is entirely immune from future advances in robotics and AI.
"Automating more manual and repetitive tasks will eliminate some existing jobs, but could also enable some workers to focus on higher value, more rewarding and creative work, removing the monotony from our day jobs.
“By boosting productivity, a key UK weakness over the past decade, and so generating wealth, advances in robotics and AI should also create additional jobs in less automatable parts of the economy as this extra wealth is spent or invested.
“The UK employment rate is at its highest level now since comparable records began in 1971, despite all the advances in digital and other labour-saving technologies we have seen since.
“It is not clear that the future will be radically different from the past in terms of how automation will affect overall UK employment rates.”
Employment Minister Damian Hinds said: “We have a resilient and diverse labour market in the UK, demonstrated by the latest record-breaking figures showing more people in work than ever before.
“Whether it’s in cyberspace or on the shop floor, advances in technology bring new jobs. It’s only right that we embrace these opportunities, support new skills and help more people get into employment to secure a workforce of the future.”
PA Wire/Andy Dunne – Corp Comms