Machines to handle over half workplace tasks by 2025

Doris Richards
September 20, 2018

The World Economic Forum also predicts the loss of some 75 million jobs worldwide by 2022, but also says 133 million new jobs will be created.

"They entail hard transitions for millions of workers and the need for proactive investment in developing a new surge of agile learners and skilled talent globally".

The report, released on September 17, forecasts that by 2025, half of all "work tasks" will be done by machines. "At the same time a greater number of new jobs will be created", said Saadia Zahidi, a WEF board member.

The WEF Report titled "The Future of Jobs 2018" was based on a survey of human resources officers, strategy executives and CEOs from over 300 global companies across industries, representing 15 million employees and 20 developed and emerging economies.

Governments were advised meanwhile to prepare safety nets for workers and communities threatened by what the WEF concluded would be "a significant shift" in the quality and permanency of the new jobs. But it said half of all companies plan retraining only for "key roles", and only one-third say they plan any retraining for at-risk workers. The report said almost half of all companies expect their full-time workforces to shrink by 2022, while almost two in five expect to extend their workforce generally, and over one-quarter expect automation to create new roles in their enterprises.

Germany's powerful DGB trade union association warned against too rapid change in the world of work. A Bank of England study in 2015 produced some of the bleakest figures, forecasting that as many as 80 million jobs in the United States and 15 million in the United Kingdom could be lost by 2035.

George Charles, spokesman for money-saving website, commented: "There's always been the fear with technology, specifically robots, that jobs will be taken over and people will be left without work". But in that same period-just four years into the future-the study says that up to 130 million more human jobs will be created.

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