Forrester Predicts Net Loss of 1.42 Million US Jobs to Automation by 2032

Automation will claim more than 11 million US jobs over the next decade, according to a report released Tuesday ranger.

This is the bad news. The good news is that automation will simultaneously add 9.63 million new jobs, with a net job loss of 1.42 million jobs for the period.

“The job gap will pose challenges for policymakers,” noted one of the report’s authors, Forrester vice president and principal analyst JP Gownder.

“That means employees need additional retraining in other jobs, which not every worker can do on their own,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“Even so,” he continued, “the ability of public policy to succeed here will vary. In Germany, where there are strong links between universities and employers, it will be easier to do than in the United States, where workers are often expected to find their own solutions.”

retraining required

Jayant Narayan, manager of the World Economic Forum’s Global AI Action Alliance, an international non-governmental and lobbying organization based in Cologny, Switzerland, added that these job losses would pose challenges for both the government and private sectors.

“For governments, it raises questions about social safety nets, investing in lifelong learning programs and STEM education for citizens, among other things,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“Some of these parameters, like retraining, would have a medium to longer-term horizon,” he added, “as there may not be a quick fix or opportunity for quick retraining.”

“For the private sector,” he added, “this raises questions about how to help workers break siled job functions and develop a broader range of multifaceted skills.”

Darrell West, Vice President for Government Studies at The Brookings Institutiona nonprofit public policy organization in Washington, DC, agreed that a lot of worker retraining will be needed.

“There are reskilling programs, but they’re often not very good and don’t qualify people for the jobs that are being created,” he told TechNewsWorld. “We need better programs because new jobs are being created, but many of the displaced people don’t have the skills needed for the new jobs.”

“A lot of the programs focus on very specific tasks,” he continued, “but the workplace is changing so dramatically that it’s difficult to find jobs for people who can only do one thing. We need programs that understand what companies need and what skills they are looking for.”

80% of jobs touched by tech

Universities can help reskill by creating hybrid majors that combine liberal arts and science, Narayan said. “Engineers need to understand the ethics of systems and their implications before designing them,” he said.

However, West claimed that community colleges do a better job than four-year institutions when it comes to preparing students for jobs.

“Community colleges are more geared towards the local labor market,” he said. “They try to give people practical skills that will get them jobs. Some universities train people for the workforce that used to exist as opposed to the one that is emerging now.”

Forrester explained that the new jobs created by automation will be in professional services and information technology, as well as in new industries such as renewable energy, green buildings and smart cities and infrastructure.

Source: Forrester Future of Jobs Forecast | Chart credit: Forrester Research, Inc. | Reproduced with permission.

Gownder pointed out that people working in the new jobs need to be familiar with working side-by-side with machines. “Whether you have technical skills or not, you need to be comfortable working in a mixed team of people and machines where intelligent software plays a key role,” he said.

It added that the biggest impact of technology during this period will be in changing the tasks that make up a given job, rather than taking on the job itself.

Delegating a specific task — like automating expense reports, expanding the ability to solve data problems, or enabling a robot to mop a floor — changes the makeup of a given job rather than replacing it, the report explained. Forrester projects that by 2030, 80 percent of jobs will be processed in this way, leading to improvements in the employee experience when certain tasks are handed off to machines.

“Many companies are introducing technologies that enhance human capabilities rather than replace them,” noted West. “We need to figure out how humans and robots can coexist.”

attitude change

Forrester also noted a shift in executive attitudes toward automation. Executives have stopped viewing it primarily as a cost-cutting effort and are now seeing a broader range of perceived benefits, it explained.

It cites Forrester data showing that 41 percent of data and analytics decision makers cited cost savings as a benefit of adopting automation in 2018, but only 25 percent said the same in 2021.

In addition, Forrester found a notable increase in the proportion of executives who cited deeper insights and competitive differentiation as benefits.

While the proportion that valued freeing up staff to work on higher value tasks has remained stable, he added, it is now the most resonant benefit.

Broader perceived benefits of automation cited in the report include closing talent gaps, freeing staff up for more advanced work, improving customer experiences, improving quality and safety, and extracting deeper insights from data to improve tasks and processes.

“Automation can be beneficial when it comes to freeing people from dirty or dangerous jobs and jobs that are totally routine and mundane,” West said.

trust-building process

Forrester’s report found that fears that automation will destroy jobs remain commonplace and not entirely unfounded. But the future of jobs will be much more mildly impacted by technologies like automation and AI than many observers expect.

Instead, it said, technology and human labor would increasingly engage in iterative, interconnected collaborations, forming human-machine teams that drive new levels of quality, productivity, and customer and employee experiences.

“This is a confidence-building process,” Narayan said. “Workers should feel like they’re part of the journey.”

“The most important thing companies can do is retrain their own ranks,” West added. “If people see an employer adopting automation but training people for other types of jobs, workers will be more receptive to that. What workers don’t want is to be dumped on the side of the road with no income.”

Forrester Predicts Net Loss of 1.42 Million US Jobs to Automation by 2032 Source link Forrester Predicts Net Loss of 1.42 Million US Jobs to Automation by 2032

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