According to a recent study of Sapiens Institute, a French think tank, robots will take over the jobs of around 2.1 French workers, mainly in the field of material handling, cashiers, machine operators, food workers and other jobs that require low skills. Although this number mind sound alarming, the researchers point out that although automation will certainly replace employees in a certain number of sectors, this will be compensated by the creation of new jobs.
A study from 2016 identified 31 jobs that are considered to be emerging. These included web marketers, e-reputation consultants, geomatics engineers, cloud engineers and virtualization experts. It should be noted that very few jobs are actually created “ex-nihilo”, but rather result from a transformation of existing jobs.
If we look at all countries, it is expected that up to 800 million global workers will lose their jobs by 2030 and be replaced by robotic automation according to the McKinsey Global Institute. McKinsey conducted a study in 46 countries looking at 800 occupations. It came to the conclusion that worldwide, one-fifth of the global work force will be affected. In richer nations such as Germany and the US, one-third of the workforce may need to retrain for other jobs.
If we look at the U.S., we see that substituting technology for workers had a positive effect; domestic manufacturing productivity roughly doubled between 1995 and 2015. It illustrates that investment in technology pays off. In South East Asia, the International Labor Organization found that more than two-thirds of Southeast Asia’s 9.2 million textile and footwear jobs will be automated.
Similar to the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, the current revolution (dubbed the Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum) will also spur economic growth and change society. It will change society freeing people from menial labor, enabling them to reach their full human potential.