The Robots Are Coming – Or Are They?

We’ve been hearing more of it lately — the bots are coming for your job, and they’re going to get it. Right?

Perhaps not. A new report by the OECD (the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development), — a 36 member intergovernmental financial organization — recently concluded that only 14% of jobs in developed nations are “highly automatable.” In the U.S., this would potentially impact 13 million jobs – much less than other sensationalistic studies. But still a sizeable number.

The impact will be particularly damaging to groups already under threat in today’s labor markets: low-skilled workers along with the young. Especially in danger: employment in personal services and sales, which provide 34% of jobs to employees age 20 and under.

The report gave examples of jobs that are the most and least susceptible to automation. Mathematical and computer whizzes, corporate managers and sports celebrities are least likely to be replaced by a machine. But people in office administration and support could think about getting some additional training – perhaps sooner rather than later.