RISE OF THE MACHINES: New research predicts a third of Australian jobs will lost to automation by 2030

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  • New research from jobs website Adzuna suggests a third of Australian jobs could be automated by the year 2030.
  • Lower-skilled and manual labour roles are most risk of being automated.
  • Workers in South Australia are seen as the most vulnerable to having their job replaced by a machine.

One in three Australian jobs are at risk of being automated by the year 2030, according to research from labour market experts Adzuna.

Workers in lower-skilled or manual labour roles, and in regional areas, are deemed to be at the greatest risk of losing out to the machines.

“We run the real risk of mass unemployment in our regions and over-population of our major cities,” says Raife Watson, CEO of Adzuna.

“As it stands, Australians who work in manual jobs in regional Australia will face high levels of unemployment over the next decade and will have little choice but to up-skill and move to cities like Sydney and Melbourne.”

These two tables show the proportion of jobs at risk from automation over the next 10 to 15 years.

The first shows that workers in South Australia, in particular, are at most risk of seeing their job replaced by automation.

Source: Adzuna

And the second table shows the risk of automation for jobs located in capital cities over the same period.

Source: Adzuna

To reach these conclusions, Adzuna used the findings of a 2015 report entitled “Future workforce trends in NSW: Emerging technologies and their potential impact”, taking the probability of jobs in New South Wales being automated and applying the results to the whole of Australia.

“State and capital city rankings were calculated based on the percentage of total job vacancies in each state and capital city that had a probability of greater than 90% chance of being automated,” Adzuna said.

While, for the most part, Adzuna found that lower-skilled roles were at most risk, it said that white collar workers will not be immune to the rise of the machines, noting that accountancy roles ranked within the top 20 professions at risk of being automated.

Although this is a guesstimate as to how widespread automation may become in the future, few will disagree that it will impact many industries.

With that change already well underway, Wilson says many Australians will also need to adapt in order to retain employment.

“Australians must be vigilant and continue to think about jobs that will be difficult to replace in the future,” he says. “Build a career in a job that requires emotional intelligence and tasks that cannot be replicated by a machine.”

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