Impacts of Tech on Employment : opportunities and challenges
Whenever we think about the impact of technology on employment, the first thing that pops automatically in our heads is machines replacing humans, causing unemployment and social crisis. However, it is been proved that new technologies are giving new opportunities to catch for both employers and workers, opening the way for the development of redesigned workplaces. As we seek to spot this disruption caused by technology, we decided to look at it from more than one angle.
First of all, nobody can deny the fact that automation has reshaped some careers, or even made them vanish completely. Since the industrial revolution, machines are evolving to become more advanced, independent and sometimes match or exceed humans in achieving some repetitive and heavy tasks. This evolution is still continuing up to now giving birth to new generations of machines based on AI.
Nevertheless, not all the jobs carried on today have the same possibility to be automated considering many factors such as costs of developing adapted machines, abundant less expensive workforce in some countries, regulatory and social limits, etc. Therefore, the technical feasibility of automation is not sufficient. According to a Mckinsey study named Technology, jobs and the future of work, it may need at least two decades before automation takes over 50% of all work activities.
As a matter of fact, even though technology has replaced some jobs, it is constantly creating new work activities, markets, and industries beyond our imagination such as IT development, hardware industry, apps and websites design, etc. By measuring the net impact of technology through the past years, we can easily conclude that it is highly positive.
Moreover, technology helped developing new forms of entrepreneurial activities known as digitally-enabled independent work. According to MGI research, more than 20% of the working-age US and EU population is occupied in independent activities, 15% of it is active in digital platforms. Workers in small businesses, students, stay-at-home mothers or even retirees nowadays have the possibility to supplement their incomes by digital freelance meeting their special needs.
Not to be forgotten, we must point out the major impact of digital talent platforms in matching candidates with their right positions. Using developed search algorithms, those platforms are speeding up the hiring process while making it more efficient, transparent and productive.
In short, new innovations in technology have the power to reshape the work market as we know it. Therefore, understanding the opportunities as well as the challenges caused by this shift is the key factor to adapt and orientate it to our favor.