Five major economies in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are more at risk from automation than Europe and North America, according to Forrester. India is one; China, South Korea, Australia, and Japan are also expected to face job losses due to automation.
The Forrester report ‘Future Of Jobs Forecast, 2020 To 2040’ estimates that 63 million jobs are expected to be lost to automation by 2040, while more than 247 million jobs are expected to be in jeopardy across industries that are more susceptible to automation, such as construction and agriculture. Wholesale, retail, transport, accommodation, and leisure sectors are also among those hit hard. These sectors are expected to lose 13.7 million jobs.
This job loss is a vicious cycle. “A declining working population and rising costs to hire and retain employees will force firms in Asia Pacific to invest more in automation,” says the report. But that same investment will make it even more undesirable to hire, pushing still more working-age people out of the workforce.
However, commitment to carbon neutrality is expected to come as a rescue in job creation. The report highlights that APAC economies including India will create new jobs in renewable energy, green buildings, smart cities and smart infrastructure, and professional services by 2040. Around 28.5 million new jobs are expected to be created in areas such as the green economy and information and communications technology (ICT) industries.
In view of the rising working population, India needs to focus on job creation to accommodate new entering the workforce. India, which has a relatively young workforce, will add 160 million new workers over the next 20 years, reaching a working population of 1.1 billion by 2040. Around 69% of India's jobs are under threat from automation.
Michael O'Grady, principal forecast analyst at Forrester suggests that the five largest economies in the APAC region need to radically rethink their workforce strategies to prepare for the changes brought on by automation.
Countries facing a decline in working population are advised to hire more female workers, says Michael. According to him, investing in STEM education, technology workforce training, and protecting the rights of freelance workers will become of utmost importance to prepare for the future.