Robots could be coming for pandemic-hit jobs: McKinsey

Bloomberg June 11 | Updated on June 11, 2020

When European economies start to recover from the coronavirus, more jobs may be filled by robots.

Automation could possibly displace 53 million positions on the continent by 2030, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, the equivalent of about 20 per cent of the workforce. In the shorter term, there is a large overlap between jobs that could disappear during the pandemic and those likely to be replaced by automation.

For instance, almost 70 per cent of jobs in the wholesale and retail sector are susceptible, the report said. The industry already has 5,411 positions at risk due to the pandemic. In accommodation and food services, another vulnerable area, 94 per cent of jobs could be automated.

Covid-19 could accelerate some of the displacement once projected to take ten years, the report authors said.

Still, Europes working-age population is shrinking, meaning there could even possibly be a shortage in skilled labour. If there is a full recovery by 2030, new jobs will fully or at least partially compensate for automation-related losses, the report said.

Published on June 11, 2020

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