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Over 5 million jobs will be lost due to The Fourth Industrial Revolution, report says

By Yuan Can (People's Daily Online)    16:36, January 20, 2016

(File photo)

Disruptive labor market changes will result in a loss of more than 5.1 million jobs from 2015 to 2020, according to a latest report by World Economic Forum (WEF).

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, which includes developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence and machine-learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, and genetics and biotechnology, will cause widespread disruption not only to business models but also to labor markets over the next five years, according to the report, The Future of Jobs, published Monday by the WEF.

This trend will lead to a loss of more than 5 million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies, said the report.

The report predicts that in the next five years there will be a total loss of 7.1 million jobs—two thirds of which are concentrated in routine white collar office functions, such as office and administrative roles—and a total gain of 2 million jobs, in computer and mathematical and Architecture and Engineering related fields.

World Economic Forum Executive Chairman and founder Klaus Schwab presents his book The Fourth Industrial Revolution during a news conference in Cologny, near Geneva on Jan. 13, 2016. (Xinhua/Reuters)

"In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before," wrote Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of WEF in his latest article called The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond.

Compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace, said Schwab. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.

According to a latest international survey, four out of 10 young people around the world worry that robot will replace them in the future workforce due to rapid development of technology.

Commissioned by Indian business and software services firm Infosys, the study surveyed around 1,000 16-to 25-year-olds in Australia, Brazil, Britain, China, France, Germany, India and the United States, as well as South Africa, where a smaller sample of 700 was polled. Young people in developed economies are more worried about their future jobs.

Nearly 80 per cent of interviewees think that it is a must to keep learning in order to gain competitiveness ahead of rapid development of technology.

Globally, while almost two-thirds of those queried said they felt positive about their job prospects, those in developing economies were far more optimistic than their peers in developed markets. In India, 60 per cent said they think they have the skills needed for their careers, just a quarter were similarly optimistic in France, the poll found.

The survey shows that nearly 50 per cent of interviewees from developed markets said that the education they received is not suitable for jobs.

According to Infosys Chief Executive Vishal Sikka, technologies have evolved far faster than what was thought possible even 10 years ago, while the educational system remains wedded to practices initially designed for agrarian societies 300 years ago.

"We must transition away from our past; shift the focus from learning what we already know to an education focused on exploring what hasn’t happened yet," said Sikka.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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