Workers at risk as robots set to replace 66m jobs, warns OECD

15:10 | 05/04/2018 Cooperation

The west’s leading economic thinktank has warned its members that they are failing to prepare workers for an automation revolution that will leave 66 million people at risk of being replaced by machines in the coming years.

Robots on a production line. Jobs in the manufacturing industry and agriculture are most at risk from automation, according to the thinktank. Photograph: PA

A new report by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development found that the most vulnerable – one in seven workers on average across the 32 countries studied – were less likely to be receiving help than those whose jobs were more secure.

The OECD said 14% of jobs in developed countries were highly automatable, while a further 32% of jobs were likely to experience significant changes to the way they were carried out.

The report said some of its member states were far more vulnerable than others to seeing jobs replaced by computers or algorithms: “There are significant differences across countries: 33% of all jobs in Slovakia are highly automatable, while this is only the case with 6% of the jobs in Norway.

“More generally, jobs in Anglo-Saxon, Nordic countries and the Netherlands are less automatable than jobs in Eastern European countries, South European countries, Germany, Chile and Japan.”