Three New Predictions for Automation and Jobs
Posted by hkarner - 17. Januar 2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Jobs will change, forcing workers to adapt and global productivity will rise
As business and political leaders gather this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, several new reports that shed light on automation and the future of work are being released at the event. For those staying home from Switzerland this year, here’s an overview of notable findings.
Despite claims that robots are coming for our jobs, only 5% of all occupations are at risk of being entirely automated, according to a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute.
Rather than disappearing, the report’s authors say, jobs will change dramatically, forcing workers to adapt. McKinsey’s analysis of 800 occupations and 2,000 job tasks predicts that half of workers’ current tasks could be automated by the year 2055 using technology that currently exists.Those changes won’t lead to mass unemployment—instead, the authors say, automation could increase global productivity by 0.8% to 1.4% annually over the next 50 years.
Who stands to benefit from those gains is the topic of another study from Accenture, which says it is up to corporate leaders to help workers hone their skills for jobs that rely on such human capabilities as social and emotional intelligence. Doubling the pace of strategic retraining efforts would reduce the share of jobs vulnerable to automation, Accenture says.
Workers themselves aren’t down on automation. In an Accenture survey of more than 10,000 workers, 87% felt optimistic about how technology will change their jobs in the next five years. Nearly the same number of workers said they feel ready for those changes. About half of respondents were described as high skill, while the rest were evenly split between low- and medium-skill levels.
Still, four in 10 felt unsure about which skills they would need to remain professionally relevant in the near future, and a majority said their employers aren’t providing high-quality training necessary to keep skills fresh.
Employers should start retraining workers now, investing in skills development that gets employees used to constant learning on the job, said Ellyn Shook, Accenture’s chief human resources officer.
Yet another report suggests some countries are doing a better job than others in developing a future-ready workforce. Global staffing firm Adecco Group PLC, the Human Capital Leadership Institute and professors at Insead business school give Switzerland the top spot in an index of talent competitiveness that ranks countries’ abilities to develop and retain skilled workers.
After Switzerland, the top countries for talent are Singapore, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Sweden. Given that labor markets are often regional rather than national, the authors also analyzed cities, ranking Copenhagen as No. 1. Rounding out the top five are Zurich, Helsinki, San Francisco, and Sweden’s Gothenburg.
Among the most promising cities from a talent standpoint are quite a few small and lesser-known ones, such as Eindhoven, Netherlands, ranked ninth, and Cardiff, Wales, ranked 11th. These metro areas combine high quality of life—which draws and keeps talented workers—with opportunities for international exposure and careers thanks to the presences of a few large corporations.