New Delhi: Nearly 69 per cent of jobs in India are under threat from automation, as the country, with its relatively young workforce, is set to add 160 million new workers over the next 20 years, a new report showed on Monday.
The main priority for the country, set to reach a working population of 1.1 billion by 2040, will be job creation to accommodate new workers entering the workforce, according to Forrester’s ‘Future Of Jobs Forecast’.
“India’s workforce is young, with an average age of 38, and its working population will grow by 160 million over the next 20 years,” said Michael O’Grady, principal forecast analyst at Forrester.
In addition, India’s labour force participation rate, which measures the share of the working-age population currently working, has dropped to just 41 per cent, he added.
The working populations in the five largest economies in Asia Pacific — India, China, South Korea, Australia, and Japan — are more at risk due to physical robot automation than Europe and North America.
By 2040, 63 million jobs are expected to be lost to automation, with more than 247 million jobs expected to be in jeopardy across industries that are more susceptible to automation, such as construction and agriculture, the report noted.
“To prepare for the changes brought on by automation, the five largest economies in APAC will have to radically rethink their workforce strategies,” said O’Grady.
“While each economy faces its own challenges, common focus areas such as hiring more female workers can help offset working population declines. In addition, investing in STEM education, technology workforce training, and protecting the rights of freelance workers will become of utmost importance,” he noted.
India, China, South Korea, Australia, and Japan will create 28.5 million new jobs in renewable energy, green buildings, smart cities and smart infrastructure, and professional services by 2040.
But even with the creation of new jobs in areas such as the green economy and information and communications technology (ICT) industries, 13.7 million jobs in the region will be lost to automation across wholesale, retail, transport, accommodation, and leisure sectors.
By 2040, China will see its working population decline by 11 per cent, and 7 per cent of jobs will be lost to automation.
“Job growth in the ICT industry will help offset automation job losses, with 3.8 million additional new jobs created by 2040,” said the report.
Due to an aging workforce and the country’s low birth rate, between 2020 and 2040, Japan’s working population will contract by 19 per cent. By 2050, it is forecasted to decline by almost one-third.