Robots Will Steal 35 Per Cent of UK Jobs in Next 20 Years (Except for When They Won't)

By James O Malley on at

Prepare yourself for the dole queue as you'll soon be replaced by a robot, it has been claimed.

Huffington Post reports that a new study by the BBC reckons that 35% of jobs will be taken by machines within the next 20 years. Here's the professions that will apparently be most impacted:

Telephone salesperson - 99.0%
Typist or related keyboard worker - 98.5%
Legal secretary - 97.6%
Financial accounts manager - 97.6%
Weigher, grader or sorter - 97.6%
Routine inspector and tester - 97.6%
Sales administrator - 97.2%
Book-keeper, payroll manager or wages clerk - 97.0%
Finance officer - 97.0%
Pensions and insurance clerk - 97.0%

The figures were apparently arrived at by analysing different occupations by the skills required. Jobs were sorted into nine categories: Social perceptiveness, Negotiation, Persuasion, Assisting and caring for others, Originality, Fine Art, Finger Dexterity and Manual Dexterity.

The BBC then apparently took studies by Deloitte and Oxford University about the impact of robots on the US economy, but mapped the figures on to the UK job market to reach the startling conclusion. (In the US the conclusion is even more shocking - with 50% of jobs projected to go.)

If the figure is anywhere close to accurate, it could mean that conversations around things like universal basic income start to get a whole lot more serious.

Though the above numbers should come with a caveat that nobody really knows what they are talking about. Apparently the Deloitte study that formed part of the BBC's figures also suggests that firms are still planning to increase their staffing levels - and that companies are planning to help staff adapt to our new robotic future. According to the Center for the Future of Work, though technology will change the jobs mix it won't change the number of people actually employed. [Huffington Post]