OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market, social policy and migration studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

English, French

What happened to jobs at high risk of automation?

This study looks at what happened to jobs at risk of automation over the past decade and across 21 countries.There is no support for net job destruction at the broad country level. All countries experienced employment growth over the past decade. Within countries, however, employment growth has been much lower in jobs at high risk of automation (6%) than in jobs at low risk (18%).

Low-educated workers were more concentrated in high-risk occupations in 2012 and have become even more concentrated in these occupations since then. In spite of this, the low growth in jobs in high-risk occupations has not led to a drop in the employment rate of low-educated workers relative to that of other education groups. This is largely because the number of low-educated workers has fallen in line with the demand for these workers.Going forward, however, the risk of automation is increasingly falling on low-educated workers and the COVID-19 crisis may have accelerated automation, as companies reduce reliance on human labour and contact between workers, or re-shore some production.


Keywords: job stability, automation
JEL: E32: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles / Business Fluctuations; Cycles; J23: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Labor Demand; J22: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Time Allocation and Labor Supply
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