Only one quarter of Australian workers expect their job to become automated

Ipsos survey for the World Economic Forum finds most employed adults globally trust they have the skills needed to weather automation

  • One third of workers globally expect their job to become automated
  • Most employed adults across the globe (69%) and in Australia (71%) trust they have the skills needed to weather automation 

Just 35% of workers across 28 countries anticipate their job will become automated in the next 10 years, according to a new Ipsos survey, conducted on behalf of the World Economic Forum. In contrast, more than half of employed adults (54%) said it was unlikely to happen. The other 11% were unsure.

In Australia, 26% of workers anticipated their job would become automated in the next 10 years, while two thirds said it was unlikely and 8% were unsure.

Globally, 69% of workers surveyed were confident they would have the skills needed to maintain their job into the future; 29% were very confident, while 40% were somewhat confident. Only one quarter (24%) were not confident, while 7% were unsure.

In Australia, 71% were confident they would have the skills needed to weather automation: 26% were very confident, while 45% were somewhat confident. Only one quarter (23%) were not confident, while 6% were unsure.

At a global level, business owners (47%), decision-makers (45%) and workers with a higher level of education (36%) were more likely to expect their job to be automated, than those who did not own a business (30%), make decisions (29%), or did not have a higher education (32%). Nevertheless, business owners (77%), decision-makers (78%) and those with a higher level of education (76%) were even more likely to be confident they would have the skills needed for their job to survive automation, than workers who did not own a business (67%) or have a higher level of education (66%). 

With few exceptions, employed adults in emerging markets were far more likely to expect their job to be automated, than those from advanced economies.

Countries where workers most anticipated their job would be automated in the next decade include:

  • India (71%) 
  • Saudi Arabia (56%)
  • China (55%)
  • Brazil (51%)
  • Mexico (50%)

In contrast, in five European countries, fewer than one in five workers surveyed say it was likely:

  • Germany (14%)
  • Hungary (14%)
  • The Netherlands (16%) 
  • Great Britain (17%)
  • France (19%)

Confidence in having the skills needed to survive automation tended to be higher than average in emerging markets generally, as well as in North America and Northern Europe, while it tended to be lower in Northeast Asia, Eastern and Southern Europe.

It was highest in:

  • India (84%)
  • The Netherlands (83%)
  • The United States (82%)
  • Turkey (81%)
  • Mexico (81%)
  • South Africa (80%)

It was significantly lower in:

  • Japan (23%)
  • South Korea (33%)
  • Russia (51%)
  • Poland (51%)

About the study

  • These are the results of an Ipsos survey conducted on the Global Advisor online platform among 13,751 adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, and 16-74 in 23 other countries. The survey was fielded between September 20 and October 4, 2019, except for South Korea, Malaysia, South Africa, and Singapore, where it was fielded between October 25 and November 8, 2019. 
  • The sample consists of approximately 1,000 individuals in each of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland), France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Great Britain and the U.S., and 500 individuals in each of Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Hungary, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and Turkey.
  • The samples in Brazil, Chile, China (mainland), India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey are more urban, more educated, and/or more affluent than the general population. The survey results for these countries should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of these populations.
  • The data is weighted so that each country’s sample composition best reflects the demographic profile of the adult population according to the most recent census data. 
  • Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don't knows or not stated responses.
  • The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 4.8 percentage points. For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website.
     

 

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