The labor market is one of many existing in the economy. It involves a set of issues concerning the formation of labor supply and demand, including the conditions under which a transaction is concluded between those who offer labor for a certain wage (workers) and its buyers (employers).
There are many factors that shape the labor market: of a social nature (such as access to universal education, its quality or the development of medicine), environmental (such as climate change), economic (such as the popularity of the sharing economy), political or technological).
Robotization processes and the labour market
However, it is forecast that in the next few years the biggest impact on the labor market will come from processes related to robotization, automation and the use of artificial intelligence. As early as the 1970s and 1980s, Toffler, a prominent futurologist and creator of new business concepts, predicted the emergence of a vast amount of available information, impossible to process for most people, which will contribute to the exclusion of these people from working life .
Today, due to the popularization of automation and systems based on artificial intelligence, it is believed that some professions, especially those that do not require specialized knowledge and skills, will begin to disappear (or all of them – what about services for idleness, e.g. barber, shoemaker, etc.?).
However, the prognostications are quite varied:
- according to experts at The World Economic Forum (WEF), the pace of technology adoption will remain steady in the next few years, and increase in some sectors. Their estimates predict that up to 85 million jobs worldwide could be replaced by machines and automation processes by 2025, while 97 million new roles will be created. This means for many people the need to retrain or re-skill ;
- The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicts that 65% of children entering education today will work in jobs that do not yet exist5 ;
- according to the McKinsey Global Institute, a research institute, technological solutions that are already available today, or are currently being developed in R&D labs, could make it possible to replace some 49% of the activities currently performed by workers by 2055;
- Oxford researchers predict that artificial intelligence will dominate the labor market by 2061, but will not fully replace humans until 2136.
Despite both fearful and hopeful expert predictions and media reports about disappearing and new professions, it is important to remember that while the direction of predictions about the professions of the future can be considered valid, specific estimates about such a distant prospect should be approached with caution.
Nevertheless, learning and understanding the nature of the changes brought about by the aforementioned factors, including progressive automation and robotization, and, above all, determining the impact of these transformations on workers and employers is a matter of paramount importance.
It is also necessary to keep in mind unexpected events, so-called black swans, difficult to predict and often having a huge impact on the world and the economy (vide pandemic).
Rynek pracy, https://mfiles.pl/pl/index.php/Rynek_pracy, dostęp 24.05.2022. 2 Przyczyny zmian – pod wpływem jakich czynników zmieni się rynek pracy? epale.ec.europa.eu, dostęp 28.04.2022. 3 Toffler A. (2006), Trzecia fala, Wydawnictwo Kurpisz, Poznań;
Toffler A. (2007), Szok przyszłości, Wydawnictwo Kurpisz, Poznań. 4 WEF (2020),
The Future of Jobs Report 2020 https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2020.pdf, dostęp 20.04.2022.
McKinsey Global Institute (2017) A Future That Works: Automation, Employment, and Productivity https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/featured%20insights/Digital%20Disruption/Harnessi ng%20automation%20for%20a%20future%20that%20works/MGI-A-future-that-works-Executivesummary.ashx, dostęp 20.04.2022.
Europejski Fundusz Leasingowy. Grupa Crédit Agricole (2019) Które zawody mogą zniknąć w najbliższej przyszłości? https://www.efl.pl/pl/biznes-i-ty/artykuly/ktore-zawody-moga-zniknac-wnajblizszej-przyszlosci, dostęp 20.04.2022. 8 https://pl.beincrypto.com/metaverse-nasza-praca-w-przyszlosci/, dostęp 28.04.2022
Author: Tomasz Wołowiec, WSEI university Lublin / Poland
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