How Automation Has Affected the Job Market

By London Gibson-Purcell


New technology continues to push companies to use automated systems over hiring new people. According to McKinsey & Company, about 60% of all occupations have at least 30% of activities that can be automated (Manyika, 2017). Automation, defined as a process or system that operates with minimal human assistance, will have a large effect on various repetitive and manual occupations, such as tellers, mail delivery, and cashiers.


Lanette Childs, a Branch Manager at TCF Bank, who has seen this shift in her work says, “Most of the manual jobs go first. My job is made easier by new banking systems. The threat of automation depends on your status.” While automated systems make the banking process more efficient for customers and higher ups, it can negatively impact entry level workers that could be replaced by on-line banking or ATMs. Similarly to changes in the banking industry, Deutsche Bank has found that it is less expensive for companies like Amazon to deliver by drones than by the traditional system by $3 (Chauhan, 2018). While these are cheaper means of getting the task done it affects the employment of, in this case, mail carriers. Overall, different technologies that perform tasks like humans will cause job loss because it costs less and is a more efficient option.


On the flip-side, automation has potential to create lots of new jobs. According to World Economic Forum, about 65% of children entering primary schools today will likely work in roles that don’t currently exist (Dunne, 2016). To coincide with the automation of repetitive tasks, new jobs will be created to manage the onslaught of technological innovations. Gerald Shaffer, Accounting Manager at Transco Products, says “The office at my job is a paperless environment and there is a system that processes the invoices we have. I embrace the new technology in our office and believe it allows us to be more efficient and creative.” Automation allows workers to be focused on more skilled tasks. Altogether, automation can also lead to the creation of new jobs and allow workers to be expressive.


How prepared are you to contend in a future digitalized job market?

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