Blog Post

Chart of the Week: 54% of EU jobs at risk of computerisation

If we believe that technology will be able to overcome traditional hurdles among non-routine cognitive tasks then we must equip the next generation of workers with skills that benefit from technology rather than being threatened by it.

By: Date: July 24, 2014 Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy

Based on a European application of Frey & Osborne (2013)’s data on the probability of job automation across occupations, the proportion of the EU work force predicted to be impacted significantly by advances in technology over the coming decades ranges from the mid-40% range (similar to the US) up to well over 60%.

Source: Bruegel calculations based on Frey & Osborne (2013), ILO, EU Labour Force Survey

Those authors expect that key technological advances – particular in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and mobile robotics – will impact primarily upon low-wage, low-skill sectors traditionally immune from automation. As such, based on our application it is unsurprising that wealthy, northern EU countries are projected to be less affected than their peripheral neighbours.

But irrespective of geography these impacts will be substantial, averaging 54% across EU-28. In spite of several caveats we note in another more detailed blog post, the presently second-order issue of labour allocation in the face of technological change is likely to become a key policy concern in the coming years. What these estimates imply for policy is clear: if we believe that technology will be able to overcome traditional hurdles among non-routine cognitive tasks then we must equip the next generation of workers with skills that benefit from technology rather than being threatened by it. Such skills are likely to emphasise social and creative intelligence, which suggests that appropriate shifts in education policy are surely requisite in order to meet this automated challenge.


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Past Event

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Speakers: Michael Froman, J. Scott Marcus, Monika Queisser, Thiébaut Weber and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: France Stratégie, 20 avenue de Ségur Date: July 9, 2019
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Blueprint

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Upcoming Event

Sep
4-5
08:30

Bruegel Annual Meetings 2019

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Speakers: Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Laurence Boone, Claire Bury, Vítor Constâncio, Zsolt Darvas, Maria Demertzis, Ottmar Edenhofer, Baroness Kishwer Falkner of Margravine, Alicia García-Herrero, Danuta Hübner, Mikaela Gavas, José Manuel González-Páramo, Mathew Heim, Yi Huang, Korbinian Ibel, Pascal Lamy, Päivi Leino-Sandberg, Ann Mettler, Ashoka Mody, Mateusz Morawiecki, Mark Leonard, Stefano Manservisi, Erik F. Nielsen, Florence Parly, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Lapo Pistelli, Lucrezia Reichlin, Joakim Reiter, André Sapir, Olaf Scholz, Harriet Sena Siaw-Boateng, Philipp Steinberg, Alexander Stubb, Ezequiel Szafir, Laura Tyson, Nicolas Véron, Reinhilde Veugelers, Sabine Weyand, Thomas Wieser, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate, European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance, Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Palais des Academies, Rue Ducale 1, 1000 Brussels
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