The Future of Work
Recently, McKinsey Global Institute had published their intriguing thoughts about the workforce of the future with sophisticated AI and automation serving as the baseline. In the report which could be accessed in this link, their researchers argued that some jobs will be lost and some new jobs would be gained. The analysis was built upon earlier McKinsey studies on Automation back in January 2017 and their impact on Work Activities.
The study covered 46 countries which represent 90% of World’s GDP with deep focus only on China, US, India, Germany, Mexico and Japan. For each of the 6, McKinsey performed modelling on net employment changes across 800 occupations based on few scenarios concerning the pace of automation adoption and for future labor demand. They found out that several trends could have impact on future new jobs such as:
- Caring for the aging societies
- Raising energy efficiencies and meeting climate challenges
- Producing goods and services for the expanding consuming class in developing countries
- Investment in Technology, Infrastructure and Buildings in all countries
McKinsey said that jobs creation including new type of jobs could more than offset the jobs lost to automation and they estimated that 375 Million workers globally will likely need to transition to do new these new jobs and if the transition was slow, unemployment could rise and dampen wages growth. Societal choices would then determine how smooth these transitions would be such as the case of select countries which invest in their workforce and adapting their policies, institutions, and business models to this new era.
Some of the jobs which are susceptible include those which are physical ones in predictable environment such as operating machines and preparing fast food, collecting and processing data such as mortgage documentation and back-end documentation work. Automation however will have less impact on jobs which involve on managing people, applying expertise and those that involve social interactions including those in unpredictable environment such as gardener, plumbers and child/elder-care. The scenarios predict that about 5-27% of current work activities depending on specific country scenario will see them being displaced by automation.
Based on above trends, some of the increase in demand and thus jobs are as follow:
Caring for the aging societies
- As people age, their spending patterns shift, with a pronounced increase in spending on health care and other personal services. This will create significant demand for a range of occupations, including doctors, nurses, and health technicians, but also home health aides, personal care aides and nursing assistants in many countries, even as it reduces demand for pediatricians and primary-school teachers.
Raising energy efficiencies and meeting climate challenges
- Investments in renewable energy, such as wind and solar, energy efficiency technologies, and adaptation and mitigation of climate change may create new demand for workers in a range of occupations, including in manufacturing, construction, and installation.
Producing goods and services for the expanding consuming class in developing countries
- As incomes rise, consumers spend more on all categories. But their spending patterns also shift, creating more jobs in areas such as consumer durables, leisure activities, financial and telecommunication services, housing, health care, and education. The effects of these new consumers will be felt not just in the countries where the income is generated, but also in economies that export to those countries
Investment in Technology, Infrastructure and Buildings in all countries
- These jobs include architects, engineers, carpenters and other skilled tradespeople, as well as construction workers, machinery operators and other jobs with lower skill requirements.
Jobs related to developing and deploying new technologies may also grow. These jobs include computer scientists, engineers, and IT administrators. Overall spending on technology could increase by more than 50 percent between 2015 and 2030. About half would be on information technology services, both in-house IT workers within companies and external or outsourced tech consulting jobs