A new report published by the World Economic Forum suggests that technological enhancements will improve quality and productivity in the workplace, while also creating new job opportunities over the next five years.
While this progress in technology is likely to reduce the number of workers needed in certain areas, it can create new openings in others. To deal with the effects of automation, employers have to invest in reskilling and upskilling, which according to the report, is currently only focused on a small set of employees who are immensely talented and valued by their employers. This is not enough.
The report indicates that mobile internet, data analytics, cloud technology and artificial intelligence are the four main areas that will have a positive impact on businesses in terms of growth. Over the coming five years, a large number of companies are expected to adopt these technologies and increase their investments in the same.
It is estimated that while 75 million jobs might be lost due to automation, another 133 million new jobs could be created to handle new tasks and responsibilities
With regards to robotization, which is another topic of debate, the trends for the near-term point more towards the adoption of stationary robots and aerial drones versus the sophisticated humanoid robots. While the adoption of stationary robots will most likely be spread across all industry sectors, the oil and gas sector will see a high level of demand for aerial and underwater robots as well.
The report also states that more than half of the employers who took part in the survey said that they would bring about changes to their production and distribution chains. Close to half said they would change their business locations based on the availability of local talent.
Automation is also expected to bring down the number of full-time, permanent employees by 2022. Many employers expect new roles to be created through automation and foresee the use of temporary workers or freelancers to meet their needs.
Over the period from 2018 to 2022, the number of task hours performed by machines is expected to increase bringing the corresponding share of human labor down. There will also be an increased level of contribution to certain tasks from machines over this period.
On the whole, the outlook for jobs remains positive. With the adoption of new technologies, the chances for new job opportunities are likely to increase. It is estimated that while 75 million jobs might be lost due to automation, another 133 million new jobs could be created to handle new tasks and responsibilities.