Its official, Robots are winning the race against humans in jobs

According to a new report “Future of Jobs” published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), five millions jobs could be eliminated over the next five years due to advances in technology.

With robots becoming more common in retail stores, factories, train stations, hotels and other service industries, they could very soon replace humans and over five million jobs could be lost by 2020 to automation.

In a report published Monday by WEF, developments in artificial intelligence, robotics, and biotechnology, would disrupt the business world in a similar way to previous industrial revolutions.

The WEF surveyed 1.9 billion workers from 15 different countries, including the U.S., China, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Japan, or the equivalent of about 65 percent of the global workforce. They found that 7.1 million jobs would be lost to redundancy and automation, with two million new positions to soften the blow. The report also predicts there will be openings in computer, engineering, mathematical and architecture fields. This would convert approximately to men gaining one job for every three lost, and women gaining one job for every five lost.

On the eve of its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland this week, the forum said that the white collar workers, such as the administrative and office jobs are most at risk from a “fourth industrial revolution.” Other industries with negative job outlooks include manufacturing and production, the arts and entertainment, construction and extraction, and installation and maintenance. The research also found that mobile internet and cloud technology will make some jobs redundant, while big data analytics and the Internet of things (IoT) will also reduce the need for workers in these roles.

Due to telemedicine advancements, those working in the health care industry will also be at risk. Women are also at higher risk because of their roles in sales and office jobs and rather low participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The impact of the tech revolution is the central topic of this year’s gathering of the world’s leaders and major business figures in the Swiss mountain resort.

Countries will have to invest in changing their workforce “to prevent a worst-case scenario — technological change accompanied by talent shortages, mass unemployment and growing inequality — reskilling and upskilling of today’s workers will be critical,” said Klaus Schwab, the founder and chairman of the WEF. “It is simply not possible to weather the current technological revolution by waiting for the next generation’s workforce to become better prepared.”

With employers seeking workers with STEM-related skills and experience, investing in education and adult learning programs is a good place to start. Almost four out of 10 employers report having difficulties finding qualified workers, which suggests that the education system isn’t retooling quickly enough to provide students with the skills they’ll need to weather the labor market.

“It is simply not possible to weather the current technological revolution by waiting for the next generation’s workforce to become better prepared,” the report noted. “Instead it is critical that businesses take an active role in supporting their current workforces through re-training, that individuals take a proactive approach to their own lifelong learning.”


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