- The U.S. could lose 38% of jobs to automation by the early 2030s, more than Germany, the U.K. and Japan, according to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers. In Germany, 35% of jobs are at risk, followed by the U.K. with 30% and Japan with 21%.
- While the U.S. and U.K. labor markets are very similar, there are big differences in the nature of the work done within various sectors, which explains why more U.S. jobs are at risk. Many of the jobs in the report have a high risk of "computerisation," driven by the industries in the country, particularly the financial services sector.
- One of the key differences between the U.S. and U.K. financial services sector is the education of industry professionals. The U.S. is more focused on domestic retail financial services, as opposed to international banking like in the U.K. Financial services workers in the U.S. have more routine work and tasks that are easily automated.
It all comes down to the nature of the job. If a job involves routine tasks that are easy to automate, workers have a higher chance of job displacement. If it’s something that requires creative or critical thinking, it will be more difficult to automate. Jobs in the U.K., Japan and Germany tend to be more complex and therefore at less risk of being taken over by robots, according to PwC.
PwC also said jobs in education, health care and social work are the least likely to be automated.
Right after the report was released, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the displacement of jobs by automation is "not even on my radar screen" because the technology is "50-100 more years" away, according to a conversation with Axios.
Some officials, like Mnuchin, are not worried about the impact of automation. One of the big concerns, however, is if governments bodies and companies don't prepare for automation, there could be widespread job loss and a missed opportunity to retrain workers.
Though not everyone is concerned about the impacts of automation, there is a growing sense of corporate responsibility. CEOs from both Salesforce and IBM think it is companies responsibility to educate and retrain employees to prepare them for new work opportunities.