Robots are rising and will soon take a significant amount of our jobs.
As robots become more common in factories, retail stores, train stations, hotels and other service industries, many may be worried that they may one day replace us in the workplace. Now, new research reveals the takeover could come soon.
According to a new report published on Monday from the World Economic Forum (WEF), over five million jobs will be lost by 2020 to automation.
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 total workforce worldwide. They found that 7.1 million jobs would be lost to robots, with two million new positions to become available to soften the blow.
The report found that white collar workers, such as those with administrative and office jobs, will be at the highest risk of losing their jobs to a robot that could perform routine tasks over the next five years. This would account for two-thirds of the job losses.
Those in the health care industry will also be at risk because of telemedicine advancements. 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.
Even though robots are likely to take administrative and office jobs, the report predicts there will be openings in computer, mathematical, engineering and architecture fields. This would translate approximately to men gaining one job for every three lost, and women gaining one job for every five lost.
"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," the authors said. "It is simply not possible to weather the current technological revolution by waiting for the next generation's workforce to become better prepared."
Photo: Steve Jurvetson | Flickr