The Impact of Automation on Employment and the Job Market

The Impact of Automation on Employment and the Job Market

In the near future, what would be the impact of automation on employment?  

Automation has been the buzzword in the labor market since time immemorial. When you say automation, you are referring to an impactful and constantly evolving set of technologies that aim to make knowledge work faster, more efficiently, and seamlessly.  

Similar to the industrial revolutions of centuries and decades past, which directly impacted agriculture and manufacturing, experts predict that the next industrial revolution will impact the job market and change the world of work drastically.  

If you look at the labor market today, you will notice that automation technologies are more and more becoming a part of most modern business processes.  


Automation and the Future of Work 

Many people believe that automation is essential to the advancement of society and the survival of businesses and the global economy. However, many people also feel threatened that automation will take away jobs and livelihoods in the near future, as it replaces humans in the job market, thus displacing many workers. This is primarily the negative impact of automation on employment – or so they say.  

Nevertheless, many also believe that as the world of work is disrupted by automation, it will create many jobs that are yet to exist today. Because of this, workers may need to learn new skills and pivot to other occupations.  

Yes, automation and employment may work for and against each other. It is like holding a double-edged sword. However, the good thing is there is still plenty of time to ready yourself as an individual who can adeptly handle the future of automation in the workplace.  

However, to be fully prepared, you first need to understand the future of workforce development and the many ways that automation will impact employment.  


Turning the Negative into Positive: The Impact of Automation on Employment 

1. Automation will impact specific industries more than others. 

The impact of automation will NOT be equally distributed across all economic sectors. Some industries will be impacted more than others.  

A 2018 McKinsey study revealed that nearly 50 percent of all jobs in the US are at high risk of being innovated. However, five economic sectors will be most vulnerable: Retail and Trade, Transportation, Agriculture, Manufacturing, as well as Travel and Food Services.  

Perhaps, you have dined lately in your favorite resto chain and had a robot serve your food order? Or maybe you have worked in a manufacturing firm with humans and bots as colleagues on the assembly line? How about getting one of those driverless cars from Tesla?  

The automation processes and innovations in this field are being led by artificial intelligence (AI). They increase productivity by having machines work alongside humans. The real challenge for the human workforce is making yourself indispensable when a robot can do your job with the same quality but at half the time.  

This is the reason why as a job candidate, you should never rest on your laurels. Instead, keep improving by learning new skills and updating your knowledge of the skills you already know. How often do you need to do this? Regularly and all the time.  

2. Those who resist automation face extinction. 

Businesses and organizations that adopt automation will be able to receive and provide better service at lower costs. They will also have higher margins because automation incredibly makes processes more efficient.  

The same thing also applies to job candidates.  

Resist technology and you will lose your edge and potentially your job sooner than later. If you are the type of job candidate who is having trouble catching up with technology in the workplace, please know that all hope is not lost.  

Learn to work with your team and colleagues, which facilitates knowledge transfer. Ask good questions and ask them often. The trick here is that you do not have to be a digital native to make it. You only have to be teachable and flexible. For some, the learning curve will be steep, but you will surely, eventually, get there. 

3. EQ takes precedence over IQ amid automation. 

If the 20th century was prominent on IQ, the 21st century is all about EQ.  

Your Emotional Quotient or Emotional Intelligence refers to your capacity to recognize and effectively manage your emotions. This is vital to anyone working for any organization amid automation. 

It is a given that automation will disrupt the workplace. It will also make changes sweeping and fast. How do you adjust to these changes?  

A healthy emotional intelligence enables you to make sound decisions, establish and maintain collaborative relationships, cope with stress, and deal with a rapidly changing environment. It ultimately allows you to accomplish your professional and personal goals despite the many setbacks. 

4. Automation will make people realize that human connection is still key. 

Automation may be a necessity for companies to grow and for organizations to maintain high efficiency. However, a negative impact of automation on employment is that it makes processes transactional and impersonal. This is contrary to the essence of business, which only happens when people connect. Companies that lose human connection also lose the very fabric of their business 

Moreover, machines and AI cannot course-correct themselves if the processes adopted eventually do not produce the company’s desired results. Only people can do that.  

Hopefully, this dispels the thinking that machines and robots will soon replace people in the workplace. In reality, one positive impact of automation in employment is that it can further bring out what sets humans apart from robots and machines–the human element. As you gain more skills, don’t forget to make this your competitive advantage.  

As a job candidate, identify your uniqueness compared to other job candidates in the labor market. With your unique combination of knowledge and skills, find out what sets you apart from machines and humans. 

5. Automation will increase the skills gap. 

The rise of automation will also broaden the skills gap, which has been felt across many job sectors in recent years.  

So as not to be a casualty of the skills gap, it is pertinent that you continue seeking avenues and opportunities to upskill and reskill yourself. Get certifications and enroll in various learning platforms to always keep yourself abreast with the most in-demand skills today and in the years to come.  

Don’t allow yourself to get left behind in the competition. Remember that automation will only work against you if you have not embraced it or have not prepared yourself to handle new skills that automation will create. There is wisdom in being a lifelong learner.  



Are you ready to gain the right work experience to jumpstart your career for the jobs of tomorrow? Consider getting the service of Davis Companies. In this competitive job market, job candidates like you need to be connected with a reputable staffing agency that can help you find the perfect fit.  

Worry not about the impact of automation on employment. The Davis Companies has got you covered. Reach out to us today 

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