OECD says transition key for Australia to jobs and automation

The OECD has found that 14 per cent of Australian jobs are at high risk of automation, but that a sharp decline in overall unemployment is unlikely.

In its latest employment outlook for Australia, the organisation said many jobs would disappear, but others will emerge.

Not only that, with automation ongoing, overall employment had been rising in Australia.

“However, transitions will not be easy.

“There are concerns about the quality of some of the emerging new jobs and, without immediate action, labour market disparities may grow as groups of workers face greater risks than others.”

Overall the study found 36 per cent of Australian jobs faced a significant risk through automation, but this was less than the OECD average of 46 per cent.

“It means that a sizeable share of adults will need to upskill or retrain to meet the needs of future jobs.”

One issue was a high level of casualisation of the workforce. Twenty five per cent of workers in Australia are casual with 19 per cent working what the OECD describes as short hours of between one and 19 hours a week.

Another faced workers without tertiary education.

“The labour market experiences of many young people and of those with less than tertiary education have worsened over the past decade.”

The organisation said key to the future was adult education, collective bargaining including by small businesses, and structural adjustment packages.

Picture: manual labour in 1944

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