Robots Could Take Over 38 Percent Of US Jobs Within About 15 Years, Report Says

By Samantha Masunaga
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) According to an analysis by accounting and consulting firm PwC, 38 percent of jobs could be at risk of automation, compared with 30 percent in Britain, 35 percent in Germany and 21 percent in Japan.

Los Angeles Times

More than a third of U.S. jobs could be at “high risk” of automation by the early 2030s, a percentage that’s greater than in Britain, Germany and Japan, according to a report released Friday.

The analysis, by accounting and consulting firm PwC, emphasized that its estimates are based on the anticipated capabilities of robotics and artificial intelligence, and that the pace and direction of technological progress are “uncertain.”

It said that in the U.S., 38 percent of jobs could be at risk of automation, compared with 30 percent in Britain, 35 percent in Germany and 21 percent in Japan.

The main reason is not that the U.S. has more jobs in sectors that are universally ripe for automation, the report says; rather, it’s that more U.S. jobs in certain sectors are potentially vulnerable than, say, British jobs in the same sectors.

For example, the report says the financial and insurance sector has much higher possibility of automation in the U.S. than in Britain. That’s because, it says, American finance workers are less educated than British ones.

While London finance employees work in international markets, their U.S. counterparts focus more on the domestic retail market, and workers “do not need to have the same educational levels,” the report said. Jobs that require less education are at higher potential risk of automation, according to the report.

Other industries that could be at high risk include hospitality and food service and transportation and storage.

Analysts have said truck driving probably will be the first form of driving in the U.S. to be fully automated, as long-range big rigs travel primarily on highways, the easiest roads to navigate without human intervention.

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