Once upon a time, we use to hear tales and see in movies on how robots are doing everything a human can, and they can impeccably imitate a human being. A folk’s tale yesterday can become the truth tomorrow. Advancement of technology can have positive as well as the negative impact on jobs.
Technology is progressing every day. It is hard to believe how much it has advanced in the 21st century. It is becoming more and more reliable and flawless, and it is impacting every aspect of human’s lifestyle, including their jobs. In this article, we will analyze what is the Impact of Technology on Jobs.
How is Technology impacting jobs?
Jobs in the future will not be affected by technology alone. There can be plenty of causes that will change jobs, like the ease of commercialization or existing labor laws. Let us see how technology leaves an impact on Jobs.
With the advancement of technology various aspects of jobs (from searching for a job to executing the job) have changed. The process of providing employment is also not the same. The number of people hired for a particular role to the skill set required for employment, all is different now than it was in the past due to technology.
So how jobs can be rewarding and how they can suffer due to the advancement of technology? Is there an impact on Jobs due to the advancement of technology?
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Benefits of jobs creation due to the advancement of technology
Many believe that with technology advancing and the coming of automation and artificial intelligence the human workforce will keep on decreasing and there will be less and fewer jobs to do by humans in the future, but that may not be true. With each industrial revolution, it is true that many jobs have been made redundant, but there is also a vast amount of creation of jobs.
According to world economic forum, the cluster of emerging professions is set to increase from 16% to 27% whereas the employment share of declining roles is set to decrease from 31 % to 21%; therefore, a structural decrease of certain kind of jobs will be counterbalanced by job creation and emergence of new profession. About half of today’s core jobs making up the bulk of employment across industries will remain somewhat stable in the period up to 2022.
Also, by 2022, 38% of business surveyed by WEF expect to extend their workforce to productivity-enhancing roles and more than a quarter expects automation to lead to the creation of new roles in the enterprise.
We can take examples from the past to establish the legitimacy of this theory:
When Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister of India, He proposed to bring computers to India’s workforce. He faced the same backlash that is faced by people now when they talk about AI doing human’s work. Fast forward to today according to Euromonitor database the unemployment rate had been reduced from 5.3% in 2000 to 4.92% in 2018. Not only this, due to the emergence of technology, the service sector has boomed and now is contributing more than 50% to the country’s GDP. Not only the percentage of unemployment but the tendency of people to take care of their daily needs are also fulfilled better in the service industry as compared to sectors which created the job in the past, i.e. agricultural industry. As these new jobs required better skillsets, hence people are concentrating more on improving their skillsets, and being skilled labor pays more than being an unskilled one.
It is widely believed that if a person has careers experience of some degree of computer automation, they will have more job opportunities. As long as they can learn to use new tools, automation will be their friend. For example, when an ATM automates the task of a bank teller, the number of workers in these occupations increases as the bar code scanner automates the work of the cashier, rather than causing unemployment.
But it is not all hunky and dory. There are some ways in which technology have an adverse effect on jobs as well.
Drawbacks that technology has caused for jobs creation
Impact of Technology on Jobs has both the positive sides and the negative sides also.
Using technology means low human errors and hence a perfect result. This is why the industry prefers to use more and more technology where it could be used and less and fewer humans.
Automation is not bounded by only mundane tasks now, it has expanded to work that was only possible with skilled labor’s and since there’s less scope of errors and the equipment’s required is mainly considered as a one-time cost, companies who can afford it are making the switch.
As mentioned above, technology is changing every day, and hence a new set of requirements is produced. Today, the most important skill organizations look for in their talent is learnability. According to the World Economic Forum, up to 65% of the jobs, Generation Z will perform don’t even exist yet and up to 45% of the activities people are paid to perform today could be automated using current technology. The need of the hour is people with completely different skillsets. With technology becoming obsolete at such a rapid pace, people are expected to learn, unlearn and relearn on a constant basis.
Because of the rapid changes, people who can adapt are adapting, but there are also people who cannot adapt. They may not possess the capability to understand these new changes. The emergence of technology possesses a significant threat to these people.
As the technology is progressing and automation and AI is taking over, from the manufacturing to tertiary every sector will contribute to the reduced demand for labor. For example, considering that India is a labor-intensive country, if it adapts to capital-intensive production methods, then there are people on the road, and the demand for employment will soon come. Therefore, it should consider adopting new means of increasing labor rather than capital.
So, what’s the conclusion?
There is a common perception that the rise of technology with automation and artificial intelligence will make the human work redundant and companies will not require humans in the future, but that may not be true, every change brings about new jobs that require new skill sets. So even in generation X, there will be a lot of jobs that may be different from the jobs that are there for millennials, but it’s not all good. We have to carefully supervise the change that technology is bringing and shift to modern technology little by little so as to give time to people to adapt to the new technology. If we bring sudden change, people may not be able to adapt quickly that will cause mass unemployment.
More than seventy years ago, in 1947, India was born. Few Indians now alive know how uncertain India’s future looked in 1947. The most prominent question then being asked was ‘Will India Survive?’ Now, seventy-one years down the road, that fearful query has been replaced by a far more hopeful one, namely, ‘Will India Become a Superpower?’