Robots will create double the amount of jobs that they will destroy, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), but there will be significant shifts in the structure of America’s workforce that could impact everyone.
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A new WEF report, The Future of Jobs 2018, predicts that 75 million jobs will be displaced by artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and automation. But it also suggests that 133 million new jobs may be created as organizations shift the balance between human workers and machines, a net gain of 58 million.
It is a widely held belief that routine, low-skilled jobs are most at risk for automation, but the WEF’s report showed that many middle-class roles are also at risk. Financial analysts, accountants and lawyers could all see significant changes by 2022. But manual workers could be among the hardest hit.
Meanwhile, there could be a huge change in the structure of the workforce, with the executives surveyed by WEF expecting a shift away from full-time work and towards flexible, contract-based gig economy employment with a focus on productivity.
All industries expect sizable skills gaps, stating that at least 50 percent of their workforce will require reskilling of some degree. The aviation, travel and tourism industry will have the largest demand for reskilling, with 68 percent of its workforce requiring some reskilling.