Study reveals how many NZ roles could be automated by 2030s

Will robots steal Kiwis’ jobs?

Study reveals how many NZ roles could be automated by 2030s

Insurance News

By Krizzel Canlas

New Zealand is relatively well positioned to manage the three waves of automation expected between now and the mid-2030s – but that could still mean close to a quarter of jobs are under threat.

The country has the sixth-lowest shares of jobs that are at high risk of automation, according to the latest global research from PwC. The report, entitled “Will robots really steal our jobs?” reveals that the share of jobs at potentially high risk of automation globally is around 3% by the early 2020s, but this rises to almost 20% by the late 2020s, and 30% by the mid-2030s. Meanwhile, New Zealand is likely to fare better, thanks to the country’s higher concentration of jobs in industries with relatively low potential automation rates, rising to only 24% by the mid-2030s.

“The data suggests New Zealand has the opportunity to continue creating jobs for people as the world navigates through the coming waves of automation,” PwC New Zealand innovation partner Andy Symons said. “We have a workforce that’s built on roles that are less automatable on average than many countries around the world.

“That doesn’t mean we can be complacent though. Both businesses and government should be developing strategies around retraining options for workers and building an education system that allows us to replace jobs that are lost through automation.”

According to PwC, it expects three waves of automation to reshape the global economy between now and the mid-2030s. These include:

  • The algorithm wave, which is already underway and involves automating structured data analysis and tasks, such as credit scoring. This wave will come to maturity by the early 2020s.

  • The augmentation wave is also underway and will mature later in the 2020s. The augmentation wave is focused on automating repeatable tasks, as well as the use of aerial drones, robots in warehouses and semi-autonomous vehicles.

  • In the third autonomy wave, which could come to maturity by the mid-2030s, AI will be able to analyse data, make decisions and take action with little or no human input. Fully autonomous driverless vehicles could roll out at scale in this phase, for example.

“The report suggests we may experience a reduced impact (relative to other countries),” Symons said. “We’re in good shape because of our economy’s focus on services, especially areas like tourism, which can’t be easily automated.

“We still have to be looking at how we train our young people and reskill workers so they are ready to move into new roles that technology like AI will create,” he added.

The research analysed the jobs of over 200,000 workers across 29 countries.

Related stories:
Revealed: the benefits of automation
From Netflix to insurance: tech’s new big thing

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!