Financial services jobs first to feel the sting of automation

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Financial and professional services jobs will be the first ones to feel the hit of the impending automation, new research by PwC suggests.

PwC analysed more than 200,000 jobs in 26 countries, and came to the conclusion that almost a third (30 per cent) could be lost to automation by the time we reach 2030. The first wave, which is expected by 2020, could remove roughly three per cent of them.

That average number stands quite differently from financial services jobs, among which is expected an elimination figure of roughly six to eight per cent. PwC says they are easy to automate with simple algorithms.

"When you look at financial services, a lot of jobs are relatively routine jobs such as data analysis. Particularly clerical, which makes up a quarter [of financial jobs], are vulnerable to automation," said PwC chief economist John Hawksworth.

"To some extent it's a continuation of what is already happening. We can already see banks moving this way, moving online and closing branches."

After the initial wave of automation, there will be two more, with the third one expected in the mid 2030s. That’s when we can expect driverless cars and other advanced technology to become mainstream.

"It does put a premium on upgrading your skills and developing a new career - it may be that some don't last," Hawksworth warned. "Hopefully employers will help, and even government. Jobs that remain are likely to be high productivity and high wage. Those who develop the skills can boost their prospects in the long term and overall that's good for the economy as a whole."

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