The robot revolution is seeing thousands of jobs move from humans to machines – and if you are an older worker you are more likely at risk.
Aging work forces and rising automation go together and have significant social and economic consequences.
New research suggests expats most likely at risk of losing their jobs to robots work in Asia.
The biggest risk is to low-skilled workers between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, who are becoming a larger part of the active workforce and populations age in major economic power houses like Japan.
The study looked at 15 countries across America, Europe and Asia and concluded the countries where jobs are most likely to fall to the age of automation are China, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea and Japan.
1 in 4 Chinese workers at risk
“While businesses today are racing to adopt intelligent technologies, the fallout of this shift could disproportionately impact older workers, leading to unemployment, widening inequality and greater strain on safety nets,” said Axel Miller, co-author of the report commissioned by professional services firms Mercer and Oliver Wyman.
“Even as older workers in aging nations are willing and able to engage in meaningful work, those skilled in the ‘yesterday’ work environment might be at risk of being excluded from the economy of tomorrow.”
The study highlighted that workers in China are most at risk from automation, with 76% of jobs considered convertible from humans to robots.
Challenge for firms
Older workers in Canada and Australia face the lowest challenge from automation.
Countries with high numbers of older skilled workers have jobs that are harder but not impossible to automate putting the futures of workers at risk in Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Italy.
“Automation enables unprecedented levels of productivity and gives firms the ability to invest in new revenue streams and younger workers,” said Patty Sung, co-author of the report.
“However, investing in younger workers will become challenging as the younger population shrinks. Governments and companies should not – and cannot – ignore older workers, and need plans that address older workers in addition to their larger digital strategies.”