How likely is your job to be taken by robots? Use this tool to find out

Published by Stephen Little on 25 March 2019.
Last updated on 25 March 2019

Bright young things will find jobs when robots malfunction

More than 1.5 million jobs in England are at high risk of losing their jobs to automation in the future, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS analysed the jobs of 20 million people in England in 2017 and found that 7.4% are at high risk of being replaced.

It revealed that women, young people, and those who work part-time are most likely to see their jobs job due to automation.

Automation involves replacing tasks currently done by workers with technology, which could include computer programs, algorithms, or even robots.

The ONS found that low skilled or routine jobs were more likely to be replaced by machines.

This is because routine and repetitive tasks can be carried out more quickly and efficiently by an algorithm written by a human, or a machine designed for one specific function.

The three occupations with the highest probability of automation are waiters and waitresses, shelf fillers and elementary sales occupations.

The occupations at the lowest risk of automation are medical practitioners, higher education teaching professionals, and senior professionals of educational establishments.

Look for the industry you work in to find the risk of automation:

The proportion of jobs at a high risk of automation fell from 8.1% to 7.4% between 2011 and 2017, while the proportion of jobs at low and medium risk of automation has risen.

The ONS says the exact reasons this are unclear, but it is possible that automation of some jobs has already happened.

For example, self-checkouts at supermarkets are now a common sight, so there is less of a need for checkout staff.

While the overall number of jobs has increased, the majority of these are in occupations that are at low or medium risk. This suggests that the labour market may be changing to jobs that require more complex and less routine skills.

The risk of automation changes depending on where you work

While robots have previously replaced human labour in industries such as car manufacturing, they are now predicted take over in white collar jobs too.

Google is developing a self-drive car and software has been developed in the US that can write news stories. Over half of trades on global markets are carried out by algorithms, while self-service tills now dominate our supermarkets.

Proportion of people at high risk of automation, by age, 2017, England

Robots are currently analysing information and doing tasks once exclusively done by humans in a fraction of the time, with many experts believing they will one day replace lawyers, doctors and journalists.

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