Automation : Impact on employment – UPSC GS3

  • It is expected that the textile and apparel will only create 29 lakh jobs as compared to the expected figure of 1 crore jobs in the next 5 years due to automation
  • According to a World Bank research, automation threatens 69% of the jobs in India, while 77% in China.
  • Report by US- based HfS Research: With rising adoption of automation and artificial intelligence, number of low-skilled workers in India’s IT & BPO sector are expected to witness a 35 per cent decrease by 2022.
How automation reduces jobs?
  • It is now widely accepted that technological advances, especially ones that make machines more like humans such as artificial intelligence are putting people out of work and will destroy more jobs in the future.
  • In the past decades, computers, cash machines and self-serve pumps have largely replaced secretaries, bank tellers and gas station attendants, respectively.
  • Google, Uber and Tesla are all working on self-driving vehicles, beginning with those that make long-haul journeys
  • Technology created jobs tend to be concentrated in cities like London, San Francisco, New York and Stockholm, which drives up prices, creates inequality and makes it difficult for people to live in or move to places where new jobs are emerging.
  • Coming years will likely only see this problem intensify, as jobs that involve any kind of routine or repetitive work – mental or physical – are increasingly at risk of being ousted by automation.
  • As X-rays and other medical records are digitised and computer algorithms become better at interpreting them, radiologists, for example, find themselves collaborating with machines, acting more as fact checkers than as medical sleuths
  • Jobs that used to be very complex, idiosyncratic and interesting start to look more like computer operator jobs, just putting in data and interpreting screen readouts.
  • Innovation is boosting pay for highly skilled workers while having a more negative impact on those with low to medium skills.
Why Automation has little impact?
  • Incomes stopped growing because of increased inequality within occupations, not because technology wiped out jobs in middle-wage professions.
  • The people at the top of the income distribution aren’t all bankers or tech gurus. Seven per cent of the top 1% of earners are lawyers, another 7% doctors, 3% work in insurance and real estate. Technological disruption doesn’t explain the rise of the top 1% and the lack of median income growth.
  • When Google’s search engine began gaining momentum a decade or so ago, for example, fears abounded that librarians would be rendered obsolete. Instead, openings for librarians actually increased, although new skills were needed to excel at the job
  • So far, humans are vastly superior at any work that relies on creativity, entrepreneurialism, interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. Jobs that fall into these categories – including clergymen, nurses, motivational speakers, caretakers, trainers, entertainers and more – will probably fare well in a more automated world
Impact of Automation on IT/BPO sector:
  • From 2.4 million low-skilled workers in these sectors in 2016, the growing adoption of automation could cause the number of jobs to fall to 1.7 million in 2022.
  • Nasscom, had earlier said that its members and their employees need to “re-skill or perish” considering the challenges on account of automation.
  • New skills such as big data analytics, cloud and cyber-security services, internet-of-things, among others as areas that would create job roles going ahead.
  • HfS Research noted that the number of medium skilled jobs and high-skilled jobs are expected to grow, albeit marginally.
  • According to the report, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is merely accelerating the elimination of rote jobs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top