retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

CNBC has a story this morning about new McKinsey research saying that “as much as one-third of the United States workforce could be out of a job by 2030 thanks to automation,” a situation that the story says “has many worried that income inequality could continue to worsen in the United States.”

The McKinsey report says, “"Even if there is enough work to ensure full employment by 2030, major transitions lie ahead that could match or even exceed the scale of historical shifts out of agriculture and manufacturing … Even as it causes declines in some occupations, automation will change many more – 60 percent of occupations have at least 30 percent of constituent work activities that could be automated.”

The research suggests that some occupations will be more affected than others. So-called “predictable” jobs such as operating machinery or preparing fast food will be more easily replaced than “unpredictable jobs” such as “gardeners, plumbers, or providers of child and elder care,” or jobs “that involve expertise, managing people, and that require frequent social interactions.”

Such a shift would impact not just companies and their workers, but also on companies that depend on the discretionary and non-discretionary spending that these people bring to the marketplace.

"For workers around the world, policy makers, and business leaders — and not just social scientists who specialize in socio-economic paradigms — that should give pause for thought, and be a spur for action,” the research says.

It is an Eye-Opener.
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