CDI Corporation

Automation’s effects on U.S. workforce unlikely to hurt IT, engineering

U.S. workers may well be concerned with the adverse effects automation may have on their jobs. But a recent report prepared and released by the research firm McKinsey & Company posited that the ultimate results may not be as detrimental as some may think, and sectors such as IT may not be hurt much at all.

The study, which covered not only the American job market but also Mexico, China, Japan and several other prominent nations, stated that the worst-case scenario imaginable would involve 800 million jobs worldwide lost to automation and its various systems by 2030. McKinsey researchers noted 400 million positions as a more likely median figure.

While neither of those sums are anything to underestimate, the report noted that the consistently increasing importance of technology would create new positions and thus mitigate issues caused by automation.

Tech spending could increase by as much as 50 percent or more by 2030, and the firm projected half of that spending to be allocated toward IT services – ergo, new hires. As many as 20 to 50 million positions might be created within the same span of time.

Elaborating on this matter, The Verge reported that McKinsey’s study and other reports concerned with the same subject that preceded it predicted the emergence of a greater labor market for high-skill positions. This would, in theory, lead to a problematic reduction in demand for medium- and low-skill jobs, and vocational education initiatives might be needed to help bridge such a gap.