Low-Income Jobs at Highest Risk of Automation
According to OECD estimates, more than 1 in 5 low-income jobs across its member countries are at high risk of automation. But it’s no longer just manual routine tasks that are affected by automation. Artificial intelligence is increasingly capable of performing “cognitive routine” tasks that are typical of the service sector. For example, artificial intelligence has recently surpassed humans at speech and image recognition, indicating that automation could also have an impact on relatively high-skilled occupations in the future. However, the share of high-income jobs at risk of automation is still significantly lower than it is for occupations that require fewer skills.
In its latest Economic Outlook, the OECD notes that automation won’t necessarily lead to lower labor demand though, as new tasks and jobs will appear. These jobs may require a different set of skills, however, which is why proper education and training are crucial to limit the adverse effects of automation on labor markets in the future.
This chart shows the share of workers in occupations at high risk of automation by income class in selected countries.