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About 10% of U.S. jobs are expected to be lost to automation this year.2
~40% of U.S. companies may already employ "digital workers", software programs that automate routine tasks for humans.2
Some experts predict that, by 2030, automation could eliminate up to 800 million jobs.3
That's scary to consider. And, though some predictions about job loss from automation are more optimistic than others, one thing is clear — we are accelerating toward the eventuality of automation pushing humans out of the workplace.
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Here's a look at the top 6 jobs at risk of being eliminated by automation. The percentage next to the job title reflects the probability of job loss due to automation.4
Get ready for more robo-calls. While telemarketing jobs haven't fully disappeared to automation, they are one of the most at-risk jobs.
Jobs that are based on routine, repetitive tasks, like data entry positions, are also destined to become obsolete as businesses automate data entry to reduce error and optimize productivity.
Future libraries may be staffed by robots that can handle check-in and check-out transactions as well as catalog, circulate, and search any library collection.
Automated tools are currently being used for everything from client and policy management to coverage evaluations and more. Soon, insurers are no longer going to need humans for underwriting policies.
Some law firms are already using automated discovery and document organization tools; by 2026, automation could eliminate 114,000 (mostly junior) jobs.5
Expect more self-checkout kiosks at groceries, gas stations, fast food restaurants, and elsewhere. Automation is expected to fully replace human cashiers in the near future.
Automation is here to stay. Experts say that jobs based on routine, repetitive tasks will be steamrolled by automation first. But, no job may be immune from the impacts of advancing technology in the world of automation.
That's grim. But it's not all bad news if it brings better quality jobs and a higher quality of life for us humans.
In fact, one study found that, while automation would eliminate lots of lower-level legal jobs, at least 80,000 new jobs would be created - many of which would be higher-skilled, higher-level jobs, like attorneys.5 And this trend isn't isolated to the legal world.
Automation isn't the only threat to a job.
Many other factors, beyond automation, can cause an unexpected hiccup in your employment. Downsizing, mergers, shutdowns, and plain bad luck can also cause an unexpected job loss.
So, what can you do about it? Here's a few ideas to consider:
Future-proof yourself. Invest in job skills that can't easily be replaced by automation. "Soft skills", like critical strategic thinking, creativity, problem solving, and communication can't easily be replaced by a robot.
Make sure you've got enough emergency funds set aside. A financial cushion can give peace of mind that you have a safety net if your job disappears.
Develop a Plan B. What if you get laid off? Do you have a side hustle that can bring in income? Can you consult or contract until you find another full-time job?
What do you think? How do you feel about the future of automation? Would you have the financial cushion you need if robots came for your job?
If anyone you know would like some advice from a pro at planning for an uncertain future, give my office a call at 512-662-1835 or shoot me an email at email@example.com.
"Losing your job to automation is tough, but it doesn't have to mean a financial setback. With jobs and money, planning ahead is always a good idea."