Certain kinds of jobs could disappear because of the automation of work. According to an NGO study, the number of jobs with a higher probability of automation increases less rapidly than the number of jobs with a low probability of automation. In order to avoid these highly negative consequences for the job market, the authors of the study recommend appropriate training programs, and remind of the importance of social competencies for work.
In their study, the researchers compared the evolution of the number of persons who perform specific functions in Belgium between 2013 and 2016, and the probability for the job in question to be automated.
As for the job of accountant, for instance, which indicates a high probability of automation, the number has decreased between 2013 and 2016. On the other hand, the number of persons being employed as social workers, which is one of the professions with a very low probability of automation, has increased during this period. “There is usually a negative relation between job growth and the probability of automation,” note the researchers.
These add that their analysis does not take into account the economic activity, and that it is therefore quite probable that the number of persons exercising a given job with a strong probability of automation, still increases a lot, due to the increased demand in this sector. Furthermore, in support of the new technologies, new job categories are appearing, such as drone operators, or application developers. “The loss of jobs due to automation can be therefore compensated for.”
Generally speaking, in order to deal with the automation of work, researchers recommend workers to follow appropriate training programs, and not to neglect social competencies, such as communication and team work. “An American study indicates that the number of jobs for which social competencies are important has increased more than jobs for which it is not the case.”