June 22, 2015

40% of Australian jobs could vanish by 2030

Over five million Australian jobs are likely to disappear in the next 10 to 15 years due to developments in technology, according to a new report.

The report, published by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), estimates that almost 40% of all existing jobs in Australia have a “moderate” to “high” likelihood of being replaced due to computerisation or automation in the near future.

The figure could be over 60% in some rural parts of the country, according to the study.

CEDA’s chief executive Stephen Martin warned that Australia could lose out on new jobs and industries if it does not invest in the right areas.

In his foreword to the report, Professor Martin writes that: “Our labour market will be fundamentally reshaped by the scope and breadth of technological change, and if we do not embrace economic reform and focus on incentivising innovation, we will simply be left behind in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.”

In an article for IZA World of Labor, Richard Freeman discusses issues surrounding the future of labor. He writes that, as artificial intelligence and machinery become more productive, capital rather than labor will become the foundation of the economy.

Freeman warns that the majority of workers may be reduced to a “serf” class, unless governments redistribute the proceeds of robot capital or people own shares in it.

Marco Vivarelli's IZA World of Labor article supports Stephen Martin's warning regarding the need to invest wisely for the future. Vivarelli says that "investments, especially in high-tech sectors may be an effective means of creating jobs."

The CEDA report, Australia’s Future Workforce?, can be accessed here.

Related articles:
Who owns the robots rules the world by Richard B. Freeman
Innovation and employment by Marco Vivarelli