According to a report dated 11 January, 2017 in the South China Morning Post, technology will swallow up repetitive predictable jobs but on balance create far more opportunities, based on findings of BCG and AliResearch studies.
"Germany offers a good parallel experience. The BCG study found drones and automation would remove 610,000 factory floor jobs in Germany but by 2025 advances in technology would lead to 960,000 new opportunities in information technology and communications."
"As machines become smarter, people are able to work no matter where they are in a more flexible way via the internet. AliResearch, a think tank affiliated with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, predicted that about 400 million people in China would be self-employed through online platforms, waving goodbye to the traditional eight-hour working mode by 2036."
"Hao Jian, the chief consultant at China’s major online recruiting firm Zhaopin.com, said he had witnessed the same trend as people no longer needed to be employed by a certain company; they could simply find project-based work opportunities online."
“The demand for part-time jobs enjoyed the most rapid growth - 113 per cent year-on-year [last year] compared with the other 60 job categories Zhaopin has,” he said."
"The report cited a World Bank report which estimated 55 to 77 per cent of China’s low-skilled workforce could be replaced by technology, while employees had to cultivate skills and know-how that would not be easily replaced by digital technologies."
Indeed, the same phenomenon is hitting the entire world. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, robotics and artificial intelligence may eliminate half of total paid employment. Click here. It’s not just manufacturing jobs. Many middle- and high-skilled jobs, including those in data collection and processing, are susceptible to automation.
The McKinsey report says it will take 20 to 40 years for half of today’s work activities to be automated. And new jobs will be created in the process. In any case, the coming shift is of a similar order of magnitude to the shift away from agriculture that occurred in developed countries in the 20th century.
A brave new word unfolds rapidly in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Nothing will ever stay the same again.