Don’t worry about job automation (just yet)

Job Robot

Could a robot do your job? It’s a question that a lot of us are asking ourselves at the moment and, in many cases, the answer is probably yes.

Well, maybe not right now, but as artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more advanced, the higher the chances of us finding ourselves redundant in our current roles.

But who is most at risk?

finder.com.au decided to crunch the numbers and find out which jobs in Australia are most at risk.

Now, bear in mind that the jobs we say are under threat are really just the jobs that have a high likelihood of being automated by 2030. So, if your job does come up on the list, while it might be time for some future planning, you won’t be losing your job tomorrow.

To get an idea of the industries that are under threat as well as the number of jobs threatened per industry, we combined data from Oxford’s Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation? report with the number of employees in each industry.

The top five industries most at risk of being automated by 2030 are:

  1. Property operators and real estate services (88%)
  2. Food retailing (81%)
  3. Food product manufacturing (79%)
  4. Administrative services (64%)
  5. Food and beverage services (62%)

While these industries may be the most at risk, it doesn’t mean that the automation of these industries will have the biggest impact on the Australian job market.

The top 5 industries at risk by job losses

The industry that will have the most impact is food and beverage services, which has a 62% chance of automation and stands to lose 525,520 jobs in Australia.

The next industry that threatens the most job losses is store-based retailing, which has a 60% chance of automation and could see 421,200 Aussies out of work.

The next three industries are administrative services (385,280 job losses), food retailing (355,590 job losses) and property and real estate services (307,050 job losses).

Should you be scared of job automation?

Yes and no. Roughly 25% of Australians are worried that Artificial Intelligence and automation will mean that they’ll be made redundant, according to research conducted by Telsyte in 2017.

But the industrial revolution came and went, and people who worked the fields lost their jobs but found work in the factories. Automation will create new jobs, we just don’t know what those jobs are yet.

While there are definitely people who do run the risk of becoming unemployed, there are also many benefits associated with automation. Between 2015 and 2030, automation could lead to a $2.2 billion boost to Australia’s national income, according to AlphaBeta’s The Automation Advantage report.

Automation is a two-sided coin. On one side you have job losses, but on the other you have a boosted economy, new jobs to be had and boundless opportunities in soon-to-be-known new industries. And if you think things may go south, there’s always income protection.


About the author

Richard Laycock is an Insurance Expert at financial comparison website finder.com.au