Monday, January 18, 2016

Robots and new technologies will lose 5 million jobs … – Le Figaro

This is the great challenge of the next five years in employment according to the World Economic Forum in Davos. Young people are nonetheless optimistic vis-à-vis technology, except in France.

As the World Economic Forum in Davos opens Wednesday, January 20, its research center conducted a survey of the world’s top 15 economies, including France, these countries covering a total of approximately 65% ​​of the global workforce. The survey, entitled The Future of Jobs, shows that the increasing automation, but more broadly artificial intelligence and automation, will have a very negative impact on labor markets.

“The number of jobs lost through automation or disintermediation could reach 7.1 million, particularly among the white collar (clerical) and administrative duties, “said the study. “These losses will be partially offset by the creation of 2.1 million new jobs, mainly in specialized areas such as computer science, mathematics and engineering.” In total it is thus the net loss of 5 million jobs related to what the Davos Forum calls “the fourth industrial revolution.” The latter, which will be the theme of the 2016 Forum, includes the emergence of new technologies such as connected devices, nanotechnology or printing in three dimensions.

The authors of the study consider that their predictions are “relatively conservative and leave no room for complacency.” These changes “disruptive” to use that word very popular among the organizers of the Davos Forum, will affect all economic activities but very unevenly. The most affected sectors should be “for example the health sector is likely to suffer the most severe job losses in the next five years, followed by the energy and financial services and investment.”

The female workforce will be relatively penalized

These developments already and already at work and likely to increase in the short term will penalize women more. While the 7.1 million jobs lost within five years 52% of jobs are held by men and 48% women. But given the much greater participation of men in the labor market, labor female labor will be relatively penalized, especially since they also benefit less from rising dynamic sectors which require scientific qualifications for which they are less equipped.

“Without a rapid and targeted response to manage the transition in the short term and build skilled labor force, the government will face growing unemployment and growing inequalities, while companies will see their consumer markets to shrink, “warns Klaus Schwab, the founder and organizer of the Davos Forum.

These challenges are now known to all feed many consultant reports still very present in Davos. Thus, the Infosys group, world leader in consulting, technology services and outsourcing, which employs 170,000 people worldwide, has launched a survey of young people 16-25 years. A thousand of them were interviewed in each of the nine countries (Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States).

iconic Pessimism French


The common point of the younger generation is that “the majority of respondents recognize the key role of technological skills for their careers, and relatively more in emerging countries (74% in India and 71% in China) than in developed countries (60% in France and 59% in the UK). “.

But young emerging countries show relatively much more confident. For example only a minority (49% of Indians) believe that “their job opportunities are worse than those of previous generations,” while 76% of French share that fear. The Infosys survey also concluded that “young workers are optimistic about their careers and positive vis-à-vis technology … except in France.”

The young French almost always come last among the nine countries covered, whether to judge the usefulness of formal schooling or wearing a positive view of globalization. Yet nearly 80% of them “want to join a company that offers them continuous training”; a figure certainly high, but still arrives in sixth position in the survey of nine countries.

This confirms once again the iconic French pessimism denounced by virtually all surveys International. Although it has never been clearly established whether there is an objective reality or a phenomenon of perception.


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