Are you concerned about future employment opportunities for Australians?
Lack of employment opportunities, is one of the most significant problems our society faces. It is not about just having a job; it is about having enough work, that pays enough money, to keep Australian citizens financially secure.
The record high underemployment rates, record low wage growth and continued reduction in full time jobs are worrying trends, influenced by the technological revolution.
The signals have been there but our business and political leaders have not heeded the warning signs. Both groups appear to be blindsided by short termism or ignorance. It is not being alarmist or pessimistic. It is facing up to the fact of an emerging problem.
As John McCarthy, the inventor of artificial intelligence said:
Articulating the problem is half the solution.
The problem is that it is anticipated 40% of all jobs in Australia, will disappear in the next decade and our society is not prepared.
It is no longer acceptable to say the future will sort itself out. Nor is it acceptable to state that in the past technological advances have always created enough jobs. This is a fast-moving beast, which is going to revolution mankind at lightning speed. It can’t just be the tech giants who, oversee the harvester. Interestingly, with the introduction of tele robotics any Australian machine, a lawn mower, a harvester or mining truck can be operated anywhere in the world with a joystick operated by human or robot. The technology is already available and is being used.
If anyone is in doubt, that there is an emerging employment problem consider this data:
- In 2016 fewer than 100,000 jobs were created. This is the only the third time, in 20 years, that so few jobs have been created.
- 1.1 million Australians are now underemployed. The highest levels since records commenced in 1978.
Evaluating the assumptions made in Treasuries 2015 Intergenerational Report, it becomes evident that:
- 56,000 new jobs will need to be created every month over the next ten years. This is just to maintain our current unemployment levels. This is staggering.
If governments were doing an analysis on what threats there were to Australian society, employment would be code red. Every job is likely to be affected and fast. By 2020 it is anticipated that 30% of anyone’s job today will be obsolete.
Research conducted by the World Economic forum in 2016 predicts:
- For every professional male job that is created, three male jobs will be lost.
- For every professional female job that is created, five female jobs will be lost.
Automation is rapidly overtaking the outsourcing model.
- Outsourcing of American jobs to Mexico and South east Asia only lost one in five jobs.
- American jobs lost to automation was a massive four in five jobs.
The future employment options for Australia does not need to be a bleak, if collectively we understand the trends, anticipate the changes and be proactive about employment options for Australians.
Leaders of business, politics, education and communities must make a commitment that economic viability and social responsibility cannot be decoupled. Society cannot be led by the tech giant’s ambitions alone.
They must acknowledge how potentially serious the emerging employment problem is and for a moment, put politics aside and be prepared to act.
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