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article imageRobots aren't taking our jobs — just yet

By Tim Sandle     Jan 4, 2019 in Business
A robot may take your job one day but so far there is little sign of this happening, according to analysis from the World Bank. While predictions about machines taking more jobs associated with humans, the pace is relatively slow.
The rise of automation has been reviewed by the World Bank chief economist based on data collated from a number of industries. The news is mixed. Most advanced economies seen a decline in industrial jobs since the year 2000 and a rise of robots, in other parts of the world, notably East Asia, there has been a net gain of manufacturing jobs and little sign of robots replacing these types of roles.
Other predictions have been less optimistic. For example, in 2017 Oxford University researchers Dr. Michael Osborne and Dr. Carl Frey interpreted data which suggested that over fifty percent of jobs in a developed economy are vulnerable in terms of humans being replaced by machines. Similarly, the World Economic Forum forecasts that machines and automated software will be handling fully half of all workplace tasks by 2025.
In contrast, some other predictions are overtly positive, such as a report from Siemens, covered by Digital Journal, that suggests the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ will add billions to economies and that, instead of fearing robots, the drive towards automation will actually generate more jobs.
READ MORE: Robots can ‘set us free’ and keep jobs
With the World Bank analysis, World Bank’s Chief Economist Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, interviewed by Bloomberg, states: "This fear that robots have eliminated jobs -- this fear is not supported by the evidence so far."
To support this she draws upon the analysis contained within the World Development Report 2019, subtitled "The Changing Nature of Work." The report is considerably pro-technology, indicating: "Work is constantly reshaped by technological progress. Firms adopt new ways of production, markets expand, and societies evolve. Overall, technology brings opportunity, paving the way to create new jobs, increase productivity, and deliver effective public services."
However, the range of different work undertaken will alter, with employees far more likely to hold several different jobs over the course of their careers instead of holding down a position with the same employer for decades.
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