One-third of all workers in the UK could be replaced by robots, according to Andy Haldane, the chief economist of the bank of England. That’s 15 million jobs.
“In the US, the corresponding figure would be 80 million jobs,” Haldane says.
Haldane showed this set of charts about robot workers — and which jobs they’re going to steal — during a speech he gave to the Trades Union Conference in London yesterday. We annotated it accordingly:
The threat is real, as this chart showing the rise and fall of various jobs historically shows. Agricultural workers were replaced largely by machinery decades ago. Telephonists have only recently been replaced by software programmes.
This looks like good news for accountants and hairdressers. Their unique skills are either enhanced by software (accountants) or not affected by it at all (hairdressers).
But there is bad news ahead for accountants on the robot front, Haldane says:
The BBC website contains a handy algorithm for calculating the probability of your job being robotised. For an accountant, the probability of vocational extinction is a whopping 95%. For a hairdresser, it is 33%. On these numbers, the accountant’s sun has truly set, but the relentless upwards ascent of the hairdresser is set to continue. For economists, like me, the magic number is 15%. At first I found that number disconcertingly high. But in fact it puts me in the lower third of “prone” professions.
You can visit that BBC robot/job algorithm here.
Here are the jobs that are most at-risk from robots, according to the BBC:
And here are the jobs that are safest:
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