Robots could replace 5 million jobs by 2020, report claims

Office jobs are at the highest risk of being replaced, according to the World Economic Forum.
Billy Steele
B. Steele|01.18.16

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Billy Steele
January 18, 2016 12:50 PM
In this article: automation, culture, job, jobs, robots, TL17AUTOM
Robots could replace 5 million jobs by 2020, report claims

It's no secret that robots are replacing humans in factories, and both the retail and service industries are set to take a hit, too. Just how bad will things get? Well, the World Economic Forum says its research indicates that over 5 million jobs will be lost to automation by 2020. The WEF claims white-collar workers -- administrative and office jobs -- are at the highest risk of being replaced.

To arrive at those numbers, the WEF surveyed 15 countries that make up 1.9 billion workers, including China, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the UK and US. In other words, about 65 percent of the total workforce worldwide. There is hope, though, and it comes in the form of retraining workers so that they can adapt as technology changes.

"To prevent a worst-case scenario -- technological change accompanied by talent shortages, mass unemployment and growing inequality -- reskilling and upskilling of today's workers will be critical," WEF founder Klaus Schwab and board member Richard Samans explained. The full report, titled "The Future of Jobs," is available here.

[Image credit: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

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