The report explained that technological advancements usually ended up creating more jobs — but the short-term effects could be damaging for workers.
‘All advanced economies have experienced profound sectoral shifts in employment – first out of agriculture and more recently manufacturing’ McKinsey said.
‘New technologies have spurred the creation of many more jobs than they destroyed’.
However though automation may improve economic growth in the long run – there will be immediate and challenging consequences for workers who will need to change their occupations entirely.
‘It’s not young people leaving farms but mid-career workers who need new skills’ wrote Axios.
‘How do you retrain people in their 30s – 40s and 50s for entirely new professions?’
An estimated 14 percent of workers globally would need to seek work in completely different fields because of the effects of automation on their previous occupations – Axios said.
The McKinsey report referred to the ‘technology disruption’ of the Industrial Revolution that had beneficial effects in the long-term for comparison.
But ‘automation going forward might prove to be more disruptive than in recent decades — and on par with the most rapid changes in the past’ because ‘if technological advances continue apace and are adopted rapidly – the rate of worker displacement could be faster’ adding ‘if many sectors adopt automation simultaneously the percentage of the workforce affected by it could be higher.