As much as one-third of the United States workforce could be out of a job by 2030 thanks to automation, according to new research from McKinsey. The consulting firm now estimates that between 400 million and 800 million individuals globally could be displaced by automation and need to find new work.
speculate about economic hypergrowth and ever-increasing GDP gains.
But to help transition to a future with increased automation, businesses and policymakers will “need to act” to keep people employed, suggests the McKinsey research.
McKinsey notes that governments will have to develop and provide extensive job retraining to help displaced workers as well as providing more generous income supplements.
“Beyond retraining, a range of policies can help, including unemployment insurance, public assistance in finding work, and portable benefits that follow workers between jobs” as well as “[p]ossible solutions to supplement incomes, such as more comprehensive minimum wage policies, universal basic income, or wage gains tied to productivity,” the researchers wrote.
The research cited the U.S. High School Movement at the turn of the last century and the GI Bill as key examples of how developed countries can cope with the disruptive effects of a transforming economy.
“In many decades hence, the value of this labor may be diminished if we reach a state in which machines can do a large share of the work,” concluded the report. “For workers around the world, policy makers, and business leaders — and not just social scientists who specialize in socio-economic paradigms — that should give pause for thought, and be a spur for action.”