Displacement of around 87 million jobs is expected in the coming years due to shift from human labour to machines, a report by World Economic Forum (WEF) has said.
The ‘Future of Jobs Report 2020’, however, noted that 97 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labour between humans, machines, and algorithms.
“Although the number of jobs destroyed will be surpassed by the number of ‘jobs of tomorrow’ created, in contrast to previous years, job creation is slowing while job destruction accelerates,” it said.
Employers expect that by 2025, increasingly redundant roles will decline from 15.4 per cent of the workforce to 9 per cent, and that emerging professions will grow from 7.8 per cent to 13.5 per cent of the total employee base of company respondents, the report said.
“Based on these figures, we estimate that by 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labour between humans and machines, while 97 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labour between humans, machines, and algorithms,” it added.
It observed that automation, in tandem with the COVID-19 recession, is creating a ‘double-disruption’ scenario for workers. In addition to the current disruption from the pandemic-induced lockdowns and economic contraction, technological adoption by companies will transform tasks, jobs and skills by 2025.
Around 43 per cent per cent of businesses surveyed indicate that they are set to reduce their workforce due to technology integration, 41 per cent plan to expand their use of contractors for task-specialised work, and 34 per cent plan to expand their workforce due to technology integration. “By 2025, the time spent on current tasks at work by humans and machines will be equal. A significant share of companies also expect to make changes to locations, their value chains, and the size of their workforce due to factors beyond technology in the next five years,” it said.