COVID-19 is accelerating automation in the workforce: WorkMarket Founder
Coronavirus has accelerated global labor market automation
The impact of the coronavirus is accelerating technological change that could lead to the automation of part of the labor market and the subsequent loss of 85 million jobs.
«Automation in tandem with the Covid-19 crisis creates a depressing scenario for many workers», – says the report of the World Economic Forum. Probably, many people can be left without work if they cannot retrain for new professions..
A significant proportion of large companies surveyed by the WEF plan to reduce their workforce through technology integration.
«For the first time in recent years, job creation is starting to lag behind job loss. This factor can have a very negative impact on the global unemployment rate.», – says the WEF report.
Coronavirus pandemic spikes worldwide unemployment. Several of the largest economies in Europe and others countries were forced to provide massive support to the entire sector to offset an alarming increase in cuts. Unemployment in the US still continues grow while lawmakers debate new bailout measures.
«As unemployment rates rise, the need for expanding social protection, including supporting the retraining of workers at risk», – representatives of the WEF think.
The pandemic is fraught with exacerbating social inequalities, as the sectors hardest hit, including travel and tourism, hospitality and retail, tend to have younger and lower-paid workers.
World Bank warns pandemic could increase income inequality and leave 115 million people below the poverty line this year.
The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology by businesses and consumers, dramatically boosting demand for cloud computing and e-commerce services, while hurting companies that cannot serve their customers online..
Workers unable to work remotely are also extremely disadvantaged.
«Efforts to support those affected by the current crisis lag behind the speed of labor market disruption», – stated in the foreword to the report of the founder of the WEF Klaus Schwab and board member Saadiyi Zahidi. «We are at a defining moment. The decisions and choices we make today will profoundly affect the course of life for generations.», – they added.
According to the WEF report, a shift in the division of labor between humans and machines could lead to the elimination of approximately 85 million jobs by 2025, while creating 97 million new professions and jobs..
Jobs that are on the verge of a full transition to automation include administrators and accountants. Positions in increasing demand include positions in AI development, as well as new jobs in engineering, cloud computing and programming..
An expected increase in the number of jobs in marketing, sales and content production, as well as positions requiring constant work with people from different walks of life, «demonstrates the continuing importance of human interaction in the new economy», says the report.
Analysis by the LinkedIn data science team showed that many of the professionals who have been successful in the new economy over the past five years came from completely different professions, who in some cases did not have the same skills at all..
Database and AI employees have often entered the profession from completely different fields..
Companies are investing more and more in retraining existing employees. The report says that half of the workers who remain in their jobs will need to learn new skills to do their jobs effectively in an increasingly automated world.
The WEF report cites a study by online education provider Coursera, which found that between April and June, there was a fivefold increase in the number of employers providing online learning opportunities and a fourfold increase in the number of people looking for online learning opportunities..