The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the deployment of technology and automation by businesses to safeguard workers from infection, reduce costs and ensure continuity of operations. While fears of technology taking over human jobs were amplified during the pandemic, experts believe technology can also create new job opportunities.
Verdict has conducted a poll to assess whether people are optimistic or pessimistic about their job’s future despite technological advancements.
Analysis of the poll responses shows that 70% of the respondents are optimistic about their job’s future, while 30% are pessimistic.
The analysis is based on 3,220 responses received from the readers of Verdict between 03 August 2020 and 18 May 2021.
The future of job market amid technology deployment
The deployment of technology and automation was rapid after the emergence of the coronavirus, with robots taking over jobs such as cleaning floors at airports and turning into waiters at restaurants. Further, call centres were closed and replaced with artificial intelligence (AI)-based chatbots. The pace of technology deployment is only expected to accelerate in the future as companies try to ensure business continuity amid new waves of the pandemic thereby threatening more human jobs.
For example, more than 40 million jobs were lost at the peak of the pandemic in the US. approximately 42% of which won’t return, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). Further, a study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Boston University found that robots could overtake nearly two million human jobs by 2025. Although automation and technology threaten to eliminate human jobs, past trends show that it also creates new job opportunities.
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New jobs are expected to be created by 2025 as the labour market shifts towards increased automation, adds WEF. While 85 million jobs are expected to be lost due to automation, it is also expected to create 97 million new jobs in areas such as data analysis, digital marketing, process automation and information security. Businesses and governments will need to work together to reskill and upskill employees to train and prepare them for such newly emerging jobs.