In Brief
  • 850,000 public sector jobs in the UK are at risk of being lost by 2030 due to automation, and more than 1.3 million administrative jobs in the public sector have a 77% probability of being automated.
  • This is good news for fiscal policy makers who wish to cut costs – the government can save up to £12 billion in public sector wages by 2030.

Decimating Jobs

Tough times lay ahead for human workers. With the advent of automation comes a much smaller job market and an ever-shrinking work force. Jobs traditionally held by humans are now being taken over by robots and computer software. Now, another job sector is being threatened by automation: the public sector.

One of the many jobs that are already automated. Credit: Babu / Reuters
One of the many jobs that are already automated. Credit: Babu / Reuters

A study conducted by Oxford University and Deloitte, a business advisory firm, found that 850,000 public sector jobs in the UK are at risk of being lost by 2030 due to automation. The report also mentions how more than 1.3 million administrative jobs in the public sector have a 77% probability of being automated. These jobs include highly repetitive jobs like clerical work and transportation work.

–This report comes as good news to fiscal policy makers who wish to cut costs. It shows the government can save up to £12 billion in public sector wages by 2030.

Beyond Simple Tasks

It is not all doom and gloom though, as a previous report from the same firm argues that, over the last 140 years, automation has created jobs more than it has destroyed. The current report also mentions a lot of jobs that have a low probability of being automated. These jobs include medical care practitioners and social workers, which only face a 23 percent chance of automation. Further, chief executives, finance directors, and other roles that require “strategic thinking and complex reasoning” only have a 14 percent chance of being automated.

Nevertheless, there is still a chance for those jobs to be automated, further strengthening the notion that automation is taking over not only basic human tasks, but also a variety of other human functions. But, it’s also slow going – the shift isn’t going to occur overnight. Good or bad, the impact of automation will surely reshape our society.