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Published by PwC on 6 February 2018.

An international analysis of the potential long term impact of automation.

  • PwC identifies three waves of automation between now and the mid-2030s: algorithm wave, augmentation wave and autonomy wave
  • In the first wave up to the early 2020s, relatively few jobs will be automated but financial services could be relatively highly impacted
  • Up to 30% of existing jobs could be impacted by the mid-2030s, with the transport, manufacturing and retail sectors particularly affected
  • There should be broadly offsetting job gains provided investment is made in retraining

Automation is set to impact UK jobs in three waves, with the biggest impact expected in the late 2020s to mid 2030s, according to new research by PwC. Up to 30% of UK jobs could be potentially impacted by automation by the early 2030s, but this will affect different types of workers and industries at different times.

PwC’s economists have identified three overlapping waves of automation: the algorithm wave, the augmentation wave and the autonomy wave. The research analysed the tasks and skills involved in the jobs of over 200,000 workers across 29 countries, including over 5,500 workers in the UK.

The study suggests that more women will initially be impacted by the rise of automation, whereas men are more likely to feel the effects in the third wave by the mid-2030s. This is due to the types of tasks that are more susceptible to automation and the current gender profiles of employment by sector.

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