Monday, December 21, 2020

Dear Workers, While You Were Out We've Been Automating Your Job

 From The Guardian:

More than half of UK's furloughed jobs at risk of automation – report 

Covid crisis is accelerating change, study by Fabian Society and Community finds

UK companies that have embraced automation, such as Ocado, have thrived in the Covid pandemic. Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

More than half of furloughed jobs in the UK are at the highest risk of automation as the Covid crisis accelerates workplace technology change, driving up redundancies and inequality across the country, according to a report.

The two-year commission on workers and technology, chaired by the Labour MP Yvette Cooper, found that workers in sectors hit hardest by the pandemic – such as hospitality, leisure and retail – face a “double whammy” as their jobs are at the most risk of being replaced by machines.

The findings from the commission, organised by the Fabian Society and the Community trade union, show that as many as 61% of jobs furloughed in the first half of this year were in sectors where automation is most likely to lead to job losses.

Rapid adoption of technology during the coronavirus pandemic has helped protect jobs as millions of employees work from home. But while employers have used new technologies to survive, the commission formed of academics and trade unionists said many furloughed jobs would not return as a result.

Physical-distancing requirements, remote working and online shopping have driven consumers and firms to make permanent changes to the way they use technology this year, with the pandemic likely to have a lasting impact on business and society. While spending in some physical shops has collapsed, resulting in thousands of job cuts by well-known high street employers, online spending has boomed – benefiting firms with fewer staff and highly automated operations.

According to the commission, 5.9 million of the 9.6 million furloughed workers were in the third of sectors with jobs at highest risk of automation, according to analysis of Office for National Statistics figures.... MORE

Merry Christmas,

Mgmt. and the whole Davos fam