Economy

Automation could kill 73 million USA jobs by 2030

Automation could kill 73 million USA jobs by 2030

As many as 800 million workers worldwide could lose their jobs to automated equipment within 13 years, according to an analysis Wednesday by US consulting firm McKinsey & Co. Those include workers who operate machinery, prepare fast food, collect and process data, originate mortgages and do paralegal and accounting work.

As a result, the firm's calculated scenarios suggest that anywhere between 75mn and 375mn workers (3% to 14% of the global workforce) will have to change occupation by 2030, with automated alternatives likely to either completely or partially displace many jobs. Even if the presence of workplace robots is slower than expected, the report notes, about 400 million workers could still be looking for new work in that time.

Advanced economies, like the United States and Germany, are likely to see employment declines in jobs that are done in what the study refers to as "predictable settings".

That's according to a new report covering 46 nations and more than 800 occupations by the research arm of McKinsey & Co.

In the United States, between 39 million and 73 million job positions could be lost, but almost 20 million of the displaced workers would be able to shift easily into occupations that are similar, though they might be carrying out somewhat different tasks, says the report.

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In places where labor is cheaper and tech is more expensive, jobs may be less vulnerable than in more developed markets.

Jobs safest from the effects of automation involve managing people, high-level expertise and unpredictable environments.

"The big question isn't, 'Will there be jobs?' " Lund says.

Even under the more rapid spread of the technologies, the authors conclude that the six major countries they studied in detail, including the US, should be at or near full employment by 2030.

McKinsey also estimates that rising incomes will lead to higher spending that could create as many as 365 million new jobs in the next 13 years.


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