While we scrutinize the advantages of the new era of technology and innovation, it often leads us into questioning about how it might radically change the employment structure. We start to panic if we will be able to cope up with this change or not. What can possibly happen if we fail to grapple with this reform?
These questions and doubts are coming up simply because of the rapid and consistent modification in entire employment structure. This sort of change is known structural unemployment. It causes when a good number of people lose their jobs due to industrial reorganization, typically due to the advancement of technology. Structural unemployment refers to a contradiction between the jobs available and the qualifications of the unemployed. Due to the advancement of technology, machines can work much faster and meticulous than human. Also using machines can be cost effective as without getting any incentive or a leave it boosts the revenue much higher than before. As a result, industries are becoming much more attracted to appointing machines rather than human employees.
According to a research of Oxford University, 47% of jobs will vanish in the next 25 years. Since the world of technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is moving forward, it is definitely a foregone conclusion. For example, Advancement of technology caused structural unemployment in the newspaper industry. Web-based advertising is the new attraction to the advertisers rather than newspaper ads.
People today are more comfortable with online media newspapers. Newspaper employees, such as journalists, printers, and delivery route workers were cut off. They had to learn more and get trainings to become qualified for a job in the same field. Likewise In the scenario of banks, ATM machines and other electronic transaction facilities reduced the work of banks which led to many job loss of the bankers. Traditional jobs are now at risk because of technology.
For last 4 decades, the garment industry has powered Bangladesh’s economy and put a great number of people to work than any other sector. Particularly women have benefited from this hiring boom, and today a majority of the industry’s four million employees are female. But because of the rising technology, already there has been a change and women are losing their jobs due to their works are being replaced by machines.
But we can see dual effect of this technological advancement. The first is that new technology is replacing labor with capital. This era could see more people being jobless or forced to seek new ways to get job. But if the job destruction was the only situation or negative effect here, the question arises how come there are still plenty of jobs and still growing? The plot twisting answer is, Technology actually creates more jobs. The aspect of Technology itself creates more jobs. This is how technology brings new capital into the economy.
This will create new demand for goods and services and produce new jobs and business models. From the very beginning, mechanization has always cost us jobs. But it has also created jobs. By the help of technology, firms and industries are getting higher revenues which is making them expand their business. Thus more job sectors are being created. It can be said that technological revolution does have a negative impact in the unemployment rate in the short run. But in the long run, this problem eventually gets fixed.
As we used the example of banks at the beginning. Automated teller machines (ATMs) reduced the cost of running a bank branch, allowing banks to open more branches in response to customer demand. The number of urban bank branches rose by 43% over the same period, so the total number of employees increased. After the introduction of Computers, rather than Destroying jobs, automation and AI redefines them, and in ways that reduce costs and boost demand.
Not just in computer-related fields such as software development but also in administrative work, healthcare and many other areas. In a recent analysis of the American workforce between 1982 and 2012, it is found that employment grew significantly faster in occupations that made more use of computers.
However, it is better to embrace the technology as it has always made our life easier. History has proven that humans have managed to negotiate difficult turns in fortune and adapt to the harshest of environment. We believe that new technology will show new ways of living, will create new job sectors and produce more prosperous, informative and knowledgeable society.