A Closer Look

Covid – Will it accelerate automation?

Less globalisation, more automation: the economic crisis induced by pandemic is likely to encourage a surge of labour-replacing technology. That will be disruptive, unequal and challenging for workers.Workers in developing countries are already jittery with worries ranging from “rebound” outbreaks and lay-offs to the onset of cabin fever.

As if workers don’t have enough on their minds, the covid-19 pandemic is resurfacing another concern: the one about technology’s impact on the future of work. Specifically, recent research suggests that the deepening recession is likely to bring a surge of labour-replacing automation.

But what’s the connection between recessions and automation? On the surface, the implacable infiltration of automation into the economy would seem to be a steady, longer-term trend rather than an immediate fact. Likewise, it might seem intuitive that any rise in unemployment in the coming months will make human labour relatively cheaper, thus slowing companies’ move to technology.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Will the covid-19 pandemic accelerate automation? – The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)

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