Over 40% of Jobs Could be Automated With Existing Technology – Including Financial Advisors and Doctors
The traditional idea of automation eliminating jobs centers mainly on the manufacturing sector. While you could argue automation has been taking manufacturing jobs since the industrial revolution, it has become much more prevalent today.
What a new study from Mckinsey&Co found may affect white-collar professionals as well. More than 40% of positions could be automated with technology in use today. This not only includes the standard factory and cashier jobs, but other specialty services like financial planning services and even some doctors.
Automation is all around us and it’s only getting bigger. Driverless vehicles, not included in the study, are likely to put taxi and truck drivers out of business in the next few decades, leading to a loss of around 4 million jobs. Cashier positions are already being phased out in many of the nation’s biggest retailers, which you can see for yourself anytime you go to a Wal-Mart or Target self-checkout lane.
Eventually, we will see fewer people working in a hands-on role and more people working in a supervisory role, making sure things are running smoothly. In the aforementioned example, it used to take one cashier to run one register, with self-checkout lanes, there is usually one person present to watch over 8-12 registers to make sure everything works as it should and to solve problems.
Right now, population growth in the United States is slowing, meaning that automation will creep in by way of attrition rather than by mass replacements. In a factory setting, a retiring line supervisor at a will likely be replaced internally and the vacant spot currently occupied by the replacement will not be filled. Automation will probably come about more through reduced hiring instead of mass firings.
The government can draw taxes from an employee’s wage, but they cannot draw taxes from a machine. This will lead to a tax base that cannot keep up with the population as a whole. At some point in the not too distant future, Western governments (U.S and Canada especially) are going to need to change the way taxes are levied, especially considering the wealth imbalance that will occur as we move further into the 21st Century. Investing a certain dollar amount generates far less in tax revenue and economic activity as opposed to paying that same amount in wages.