- Futurist and author Thomas Frey has produced a provocative blog on the future job market, hinting that 2 billion jobs will be disappear by 2030 largely due to major developments in technology. The article does indicate that as industry changes, jobs will also be created, but with an overall deficit due to gains in efficiency and optimality.
- Technology is expected to enable fewer people to produce the same if not better results. For example, transportation operator roles could diminish as technology has for the last few years provided signals of autonomous vehicles. Other examples include 3D printing and robots where changes in one sector will affect other linked sectors.
- Whilst there are large uncertainties associated with this claim, it serves to provoke (or revoke) a range of questions regarding future social conditions. Aside from the obvious changes in demands for resources, the extensive joblessness could shift the demands that society expect from their environment moving from a provider of wellbeing back to a provider for economic growth and stimulation.
- Whilst the potential impacts associated with this issue are large, reseachers feel overall importance is low, due to the low likelihood that jobs will dissipate so quickly, particularly as ‘knowledge intensive’ industries will continue to rise.
With new political promises on the horizon (e.g. Boris Johnson’s promise for driverless underground trains), Frey’s predications, and previous indicators of autonomous technology, government may need to begin to consider the impact of such efficiency gains on society and the environment. In particular, the distribution of these impacts may need investigation, to understand how changes might affect rural and urban communities comparatively.
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