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Every month, a million Indians become age-eligible to join the workforce, but the growth in jobs has not kept pace with the rising number of aspirants. Despite India being one of the brighter spots in the existing slowing global economy, unemployment has definitely been on the rise. "Employment creation will be one of our greatest challenges for the next decade". According to Census 2017 data, India's unemployment rate grew from 6.8 percent in 2006 to 9.6 percent in 2016.
The situation has only worsened since, thanks to weak industrial growth, a struggling agriculture sector with widespread drought, cost rationalizations in several sectors and the knock-on effect of a global slowdown. Manufacturing sector and other labor-intensive industries are heavily investing in mechanizing their operations which is making them more profitable and productive, but it is shrinking job opportunities for the youth. There were around 53,000 job losses in the first quarter of FY 2016-2017. The second quarter was better, with 174,000 new jobs, but even than the 95,000 net new jobs created in the first half of FY 2016-17 look desultory.
Large manufacturers are trimming operations where Automation is increasingly proliferating in every aspect of our lives, whether it’s robots building the cars we drive or artificial intelligence systems driving the vehicles for us. In the coming days, there will be a huge concern about jobs with the rise of autonomous systems.
A recently published report concluded that less than 5 percent of occupations are likely to be completely wiped out by automation. Several reports suggest that it doesn’t necessarily mean job security for workers in such industries.
The effect of automation on jobs really depends on the occupation. Automation could replace more than half of mining jobs in the next decade. Eliminating the need for workers to do these manual tasks, the mining industry is already using automated loaders and tunnel-boring systems. The industry is testing fully autonomous long-distance trains to carry materials from the mine to a port, Truck, taxi, and delivery drivers also need to worry. “Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy,” published in November that automated vehicle technology could threaten or alter 2.2 to 3.1 million of these jobs in India That means 80 percent to 100 percent of these positions will be eliminated, affecting some 1.7 million truck drivers alone. On-demand car services, like Ola, Uber, likely will rely entirely on self-driving cars in the future, the report adds.
On the flip side, people with tech skills will be needed in every industry to set up and operate the automation systems. However, according to Computer World, they’ll be hired in smaller numbers than the people the machines will ultimately replace.
The tech industry already employs 1.2 million people in the India and is growing at a rate of 3 percent every year, according to CompTIA, a nonprofit IT trade association. This makes it one of the biggest industries in the country—comparable to construction, finance, and insurance. With changing times so has changed the Top 10 High Paid Jobs in India.
Not necessarily. Will every coal miner become a coder? Not likely. But those without some level of technical knowledge likely will be left behind. Even medical professionals and lawyers will have to learn how to use the latest tools to stay up to date in their industry and provide the best services possible.
However, there is another path. The jobs that require communication skills, empathy, and close personal interaction are going to stay for now. These people include nurses, teachers, hairdressers, and personal trainers. And due to customers’ frustrations with talking to machines, humans are taking back jobs from automated customer service systems. In fact, automation has helped many companies witness an increase in demand for their products and services thereby increasing the profits. This has led to opening more stores and offices and hiring more employees. Moreover, to stay afloat and adapting automation will require workforce to learn new skills quickly which may not cause mass unemployment as many people fear.
Leaders in each industry along with policymakers and academic institutions need to invest in education for the jobs of the future, to ensure automation helps and not harms people’s employment prospects. This includes on-the-job training and continuing education courses for those transitioning in their careers.
The somewhat good news is the mass elimination of jobs to automation isn’t going to happen overnight. Regardless, now is the time to start thinking about how best to adapt to a changing world.