June 16, 2015
WE worry about a six per cent unemployment rate now but new research suggests that could pale into insignificance by 2030.
An analysis from the Committee of Economic Development of Australia warns more than five million jobs could disappear in the next 10 to 15 years because of technological advancements.
It predicts Australia is on the cusp of a new but very different industrial revolution.
“The pace of technological advancement in the last 20 years has been unprecedented and that pace is likely to continue for the next 20 years,” CEDA head Stephen Martin said today.
But computerisation and automation could see more than six out of 10 jobs in rural and regional Australia vanish.
Automation has replaced some jobs in agriculture, mining and manufacturing, but other areas like the health sector have largely been untouched by technological change so far.
There will be new jobs and industries that emerge but if Australia is not planning and investing in the right areas it will get left behind.
“Government must lead the way with clear and detailed education, innovation and technology policies that are funded adequately,” he says.
Communication Minister Malcolm Turnbull will launch a report showing digital technologies are one of the fastest growing parts of the economy, demanding a further 100,000 workers over the next six years.
Deloitte Access Economics director John O’Mahony says the contribution to the economy and productivity is at risk if the workforce is not adequately equipped with the necessary ICT skills. The stark warnings come as a new survey found optimism about Australia’s economic performance has taken a tumble.
The annual Lowy Institute poll found that 63 per cent of respondents are still optimistic about our global performance over the next five years.
But that’s a 23-point fall from when the question was first asked in 2010, at the height of the global financial crisis. “We feel less optimistic now than we did when Australia was under severe stress,” Lowy polling director Alex Oliver told Sky News.
TECHNOLOGY TO HIT AUSTRALIAN JOBS
* Highly probable five million workers could be replaced by computers
* 39.6 per cent of workforce
* Further 18.4 per cent face medium probability jobs eliminated
* Replicate aspects of human thought
* Disrupt way work conducted, expand competition, reduce costs to consumers
* Reduce workers’ income