There has been a debate building around whether new technology is threatening the amount of jobs that are available within certain industries. Deloitte commissioned a detailed report, looking back over 140 years, which identified that technology had created more jobs than it has destroyed, but is this accurate? If it is, is it about to change?

Negative technological impact on industries

The history of technology is littered with landmark moments that have altered fundamentally the way we live. With each new technological revolution, a single industry could be rendered obsolete, to be replaced by ‘jobs’ that previous generations could never have imagined. Just look at the internet and the rise of social media to see this first hand. As you would expect, different industries are affected in different ways by technological developments.

Below are just a few industries whose workforce has decreased within the last 22 years due to new technologies coming in to the marketplace:

  • Secretarial jobs have decreased by 47,000 jobs
  • Metal making work has declined by 40,000 jobs
  • Typists have dropped by 70,000 jobs
  • Farming has declined by 68,000 jobs

The agricultural industry has been affected the most by these technological developments. It accounted for a huge 6.6% of workforce in England and Wales in 1871, compared to the 0.2% that it stands at today, a staggering 95% decline.

Advantages to the technology growth

Some argue; however, that far from reducing the number of jobs available, technology has in fact been responsible for the growth of many industries. There has been a growing concern that technology is gradually making human workers redundant. Just take a look at the BBC article that identifies how likely a robot is to take your job in the future. However, frequently, technology instead shifts or generates jobs in other areas to compensate, often steering workers away from dull, repetitive and sometimes dangerous work.

There are many industries that have experienced positive job creation as a result of new developments in technology. Here are just a few that have expanded over the last 22 years:

  • An extra 496,000 jobs have been created in the care industry
  • Teaching jobs have increased by 419,000
  • Nursing jobs have grown by 270,000
  • The finance sector has increased by 116,000 jobs

That is not even mentioning the likes of Google, Apple and Facebook, who alone are responsible for hiring 137,000 workers.

None of us can know what the future holds, as new technologies enter the marketplace, disrupting the status quo and reshaping our lives. However, as alluded to in the BBC article, it is clear that some jobs that exist today will not be available or even relevant to workers in the future. A report published in 2014 found that over the next 20 years there is a chance that 35% of existing UK jobs will be replaced by technology. It is not all doom and gloom though for the average worker. What can’t be accounted for is what new industries will crop up to replace them, which we couldn’t even have imagined as we read this blog.

We hope that you have found this article interesting. Please let us know your experiences with new technology and employment.

Enabling Change offer recruitment training, recruitment development and headhunting training courses to ensure your recruiting business is one that thrives in the new age. To find out more about our courses, contact us on 01264 360 234 today.