As we hurtle brazenly toward the future, the Aussie job market is changing rapidly.
For younger workers, the kind of full-time work and job stability previous generations took for granted is becoming more elusive. Another issue is underemployment, where people may have a job but are not getting the amount of hours they’d like.
As each decade passes, new industries crop up and old industries fade or die off completely. After all, when was the last time you ran into a Kodak photo paper sales consultant? Technology is playing an increasing role in the modern job market. Many of the skills our parents’ employers valued aren’t as vital as they once were.
For younger workers, the kind of full-time work and job stability previous generations took for granted is becoming more elusive.
One quirk of the modern world is how we somehow manage to find new ways to describe old jobs. A librarian becomes an Information Advisor and a bin man becomes a Waste Management and Disposal Technician.
What frightens many Aussies is the very real possibility that sometime, in the not too distant future, their current job will become redundant, replaced by automated systems and computerised streamlining. For some industries and professions, this is by no means an empty threat. Some parts of Australia will suffer more than others because of the kind of workforce adjustments that are taking place.
Australian Jobs at Risk of Automation is an interactive based on data originally sourced from two economists at Oxford University – Michael Osborne and Colin Frey. In 2013, they modelled the potential consequences of expanded automation on the US labour market. This study was later replicated and extended for Australia’s job market by CEDA, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.
CEDA took the original estimates for the susceptibility of various job types to automation and applied them to job codes based on ANZSCO, the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. The new probabilities of automation were then combined with the fraction of workers in each job type to produce an overall estimate for how susceptible each of these job types was in Australia, between now and 2030.
To create our interactive, we’ve merged the CEDA data with 2011 census data. This was used to create the map, graphs and job lists (which outline the most common jobs in each area). Naturally, the interactive cannot accurately predict the extent of new jobs that will undoubtedly be created in fields such as robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
…if you were to select East Pilbara in Western Australia (the largest red area in that state), you would discover that the jobs most at risk from automation are those of labourers, machine operators and drivers.
Just click on any region of Australia and the data for job susceptibility to automation will appear. For example, if you were to select East Pilbara in Western Australia (the largest red area in that state), you would discover that the jobs most at risk from automation are those of labourers, machine operators and drivers.
Drilling down to more specificity, you can see that the highest-risk job groups over the next 13 years are drillers, miners and shot firers, with 1870 jobs at risk. Metal fitters, machinists and truck drivers will also be hit hard, with 1153 jobs on the line. The lowest risk job group for the East Pilbara is managers.
Is your current job at risk from automation and computerisation? Find out with Budget Direct’s interactive Australia map now!
Adapting to change
The modern farm tractor already has GPS tracking, air conditioning and an advanced stereo system. Many now also feature a bank of computer screens to monitor the vehicle’s field position, operating characteristics and machine performance. Self-driving machinery and robotic drones to survey and treat crops will become more common in the coming decade.
It’s clear certain sectors of the workforce (such as mining in Western Australia) are more at risk than others. In the agricultural sector, automation is also bringing big changes to many areas.
In the end, the idea behind all this automated, new-tech gadgetry is simply the most efficient use of resources. Whether that’s labour, water, fertiliser, pesticide or fuel. One of the great success stories of farming automation is automatic GPS guidance systems. GPS steers a tractor in a much more precise pattern than a human driver can achieve. Fully autonomous field machines are already being used in small-scale, high-profit-margin businesses such as fruit and vegetable growing, nursery plant cultivation and wine grape growing.
It’s envisioned that at least some of the more tedious agricultural tasks, such as harvesting vegetables, may soon be performed by machine. Field scouting for the purpose of checking crop readiness or the presence of insect pests is another area where flying robots with special gripper arms might one day supplant manual labourers.[i]
- Budget Direct’s interactive: Australian Jobs at Risk of Automation provides a fascinating glimpse into how automation and computerisation is changing our workforce – and which jobs are most at risk
- Australia’s job market is changing rapidly, with technology playing a bigger role each decade
- Mining, manufacturing and agriculture are three industry sectors most likely to be affected by the rise of automation
- Automation in farming is already producing more efficient and precise methods of increasing crop yields
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