The increasing adoption of automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and other technologies suggest that the role of humans in the economy will shrink drastically, wiping out millions of jobs in the process. COVID-19 accelerated this effect in 2020 and will likely boost digitization, and perhaps establish it permanently, in some areas.
However, the real picture is more nuanced: though these technologies will eliminate some jobs, they will create many others. Governments, companies, and individuals all need to understand these shifts when they plan for the future.
BCG recently collaborated with Faethm, a firm specializing in AI and analytics, to study the potential impact of various technologies on jobs in three countries: the US, Germany, and Australia. Using the underlying demographics in each country, we developed detailed scenarios that model the effects of new technologies and consider the impact of the pandemic on GDP growth. (See Appendix A.)
One key finding is that the net number of jobs lost or gained is an artificially simple metric to gauge the impact of digitization. For example, eliminating 10 million jobs and creating 10 million new jobs would appear to have negligible impact. In fact, however, doing so would represent a huge economic disruption for the country—not to mention for the millions of people with their jobs at stake. Therefore, policymakers and countries that want to understand the implications of automation need to drill down and look at disaggregated effects. Understanding the future of jobs is a tall order, but the groundbreaking analysis we conducted helps governments, companies, and individuals take the critical first step to prepare for what is to come.
In This Report
- Three Components of Workforce Imbalances
- A Closer Look at Three Markets
- Growing Demand for Technological and Soft Skills
- Sensitivity of Outcomes
- Building an Adaptive Workforce
- Recommendations for Governments
- Recommendations for Companies
- Recommendations for Individuals
- The Way Forward
Read the full article here BCG.