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More Jobs Safer From Automation Than Previously Believed

Wednesday November 1, 2017 comments

We all want to know how many jobs will be threatened by the rise of robots and technology. You might feel vulnerable if your job is  one that could be affected. But thanks to a new report, 27% of the 160 million people in the United States labor force can breathe easier knowing their jobs are safer than they thought. That's 43 million living, breathing and working people in America. By extension, that's three million Australians, nine million Brits and 27% of most advanced economy workforces. Their prospects have been re-rated in new work by a group that includes one of the mathematicians who first raised the alarm on the risk to employment.

The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030, published in September, is their most detailed investigation to date on the impact of technology and it now puts 20% of workers in the vulnerable category.

That's down from the 47% cited as at risk in a 2013 study, The Future of Employment, by professors Karl Frey and Michael Osborne of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford in the UK.

Other studies, other predictions

Many studies have since mirrored this finding. The original Frey/Osborne study focused on American labor force data. Their follow-up work reached similar conclusions for Britain and Europe.

The Committee for the Economic Development of Australia did similar work in a 2015 report Australia's Future Workforce to reach a figure of 40%. This has been the basis for employment projections by both the CSIRO's Data61 and the Foundation for Younger Australians.

It's also underpinned the rising cry for a basic income to compensate the millions of people who risk losing work while machines create greater productivity.