The issue of robots and automation in the workplace is not new. All kinds of analysis and forecasts have emerged, and we have even seen the first implementations in restaurants, cafeterias, supermarkets and production chains. Clearly, there is no turning back.
A new studyÂ by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), which has the participation of experts from the Department of Economics of Oxford and the World Bank, is releasing alarming figures and interesting details that what the future holds for us. In short, 14% of the global workforce will be without work.
This complete study shows data that we could see during the decade of 2030 before the explosion of automation, where the most revealing fact is that it is estimated that between 400 and 800 million people worldwide will have to change their jobs before the arrival of the robots. Of this figure, about 375 million will not find a new job due to the lack of knowledge and preparation, that is, 14% of the global workforce.
But in all this there is curious data, since the study predicts that the change will affect mainly the rich nations, such as the United States, Germany and Japan, where the impact will be reflected in the middle class, since approximately 25% of the jobs will be automated.
Contrary to what is believed to occur in developing nations, such as India or Mexico, where it is estimated that due to the lack of budget, it will be impossible to acquire technology to automate work; therefore it is forecast that only 9% of the positions will be affected by the presence of the machines. This will mean that the middle class in these regions will not suffer changes that affect the economy of said countries.
Cheap labor will become the main asset of the automation era, causing developing nations to have a new economic boost that will cause some companies to migrate their services to these countries. However, this will not be forever, since over time the machinery will lower its costs and make it more viable to rely on automation.
Here is an important factor, since these job losses will create new jobs that are better paid due to the increase in productivity. The problem is that these new jobs required people more prepared and with greater knowledge, which would put in check the developing nations due to the deficiencies in the educational sectors.
Training and specialization will be key in a few years, and few companies will be able to help their current workforce, so here again will be determining the educational capacity of each person and what countries have to offer.
The jobs most likely to be replaced by machines will be those that require physical work, such as crane operators, heavy machinery, production chains and even vehicle operators such as taxis or delivery trucks, as well as office managers. This will cause the number of jobs that require at least a university degree to grow, while jobs that require less education will be reduced.
In summary, the advent of automation will seem to affect developing countries less compared to richer countries, but developing regions will face more complex challenges, such as education, in the long term. On the other hand, the loss of jobs will create an economic contraction in the middle class of the developed nations, however, it is something that will be solved in the medium term due to the professionalization of new generations.