Robot Automation Threatens Jobs Across the Globe

The BBC recently published an article about a report released by the McKinsey Global Institute that estimates that as many as 800 million jobs from across the globe may be disappearing by the year 2030 because of robotic automation.


The report is based on data collected from 800 occupations in 46 different countries. McKinsey believes that people who operate machinery and work in the food sector will be impacted the most by changing technologies. Even some white-collar jobs, such as accountant and mortgage brokers, are also likely to diminish.


Not all jobs are at equal risk. According to the report, occupations requiring interaction with human beings or specialized manual labor will be the safest from new technologies.


McKinsey also predicts that the impact of robotic automation will vary from country to country. Highly-industrialized nations, such as the United States and Germany, will likely need to retrain a large percentage of their workforce. College degrees will be even more critical in these countries than they are now because of the disappearance of low-skilled jobs.


As for poorer, less-developed countries, the impact on workers will be less severe since there is less capital to invest in emerging technologies.


McKinsey believes that the changes brought on by robotic automation will be comparable to the industrial changes in the early part of the twentieth century. At that time, jobs in the agricultural sector decreased while jobs in factories proliferated.


The good news is that new technologies will also mean new types of jobs. Still, these new jobs will likely be much fewer than the number of jobs that will disappear.


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