Significant technological advances have reshaped society as we know it.
However, the World Economic Forum warned that while this is pushing us into “the fourth industrial revolution” and is transforming the labour markets beyond all recognition from decades ago, it will lead to a net loss of over 5 million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies by 2020.
These countries include Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States.
WEF said in its report, entitled “The Future of Jobs” published on Monday, that while skills and jobs displacement will affect every industry and geographical region, these job losses can be offset by employment growth in other areas.
WEF estimated that 7.1 million jobs could be lost through redundancy, automation or disintermediation while the creation of 2.1 million new jobs, mainly in more specialised areas such as computing, maths, architecture and engineering could partially offset some of the losses.
“Without urgent and targeted action today to manage the near-term transition and build a workforce with futureproof skills, governments will have to cope with ever-growing unemployment and inequality, and businesses with a shrinking consumer base,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum in the report.