Press releases

Deloitte: UK benefitting from automation of work

15 September 2015

  • Growth of jobs at low risk of automation outpaces loss of jobs at high risk. 3.5million low-risk jobs created since 2001, with 800,000 high-risk jobs lost
  • On average, each new low-risk job pays approximately £10,000 more than the high-risk job it replaced, adding £140bn to the UK economy
  • Every UK region and nation successfully replacing jobs lost to automation

The UK is benefitting from the automation of work according to new analysis by Deloitte, the business advisory firm.

Deloitte analysed ONS labour force data between 2001 and 2015 and matched changes in employment against occupations predicted to be at high, medium and low risk of being automated in the next twenty years.*

Deloitte’s research found that, in the last 15 years across the UK, those occupations with the lowest risk of automation have created 3.5 million jobs while those occupations with the highest risk have lost 800,000 jobs.

Occupations that created the largest boost to employment** across the UK since 2001 were:

  • Care home workers and home carers - 275,000 new jobs, growth of 55%
  • Teaching assistants - 250,000 new jobs, growth of 202%
  • Business and financial project managers - 170,000 new jobs, growth of 842%

Occupations with the largest fall in employment were:

  • Personal assistants - 210,000 jobs lost, down 50%
  • Typists - 110,000 jobs lost, down 75%
  • Bank and post office clerks - 100,000 jobs lost, down 44%

On average, each job created in one of the fastest-growing lower-risk occupations pays approximately £10,000 more than the higher-risk, routine job they replace. Deloitte estimates that, in total, these new jobs have added a net £140bn in value to the UK economy.

Deloitte’s work shows that every region and nation of the UK has benefited from technology. In every part of the UK, routine jobs at high risk of automation have declined but have been more than made up for by the creation of lower-risk, non-routine jobs.***

Angus Knowles-Cutler, Vice Chairman of Deloitte, said:

“Our work shows the automation of jobs – and a shift from brawn to brains - is well underway in every nation and region of the UK. But we appear to be benefitting from this, not losing out. Technology is replacing the high-risk, routine occupations in the UK economy but we are seeing good growth in the creative, caring and complex jobs at less risk of automation, as well as increased economic value from these.

“The UK has the highest proportion of graduates in the workforce in Europe, six of the top twenty universities in the world, and is already a world leader in the sectors likely to be at the forefront of future growth – such as technology, high-tech manufacturing and financial and professional services. This bodes well for the UK in dealing with the impact of technology on jobs, as it always has done.

“But we cannot be complacent. Business, educators and government must work together to ensure young people enter the workforce with the skills suited to the jobs of tomorrow and those already in work are able to reskill during their careers.”

Harvey Lewis, Head of Analytics Research at Deloitte, said:
“The data show strong evidence that the changes in the UK labour market are linked to advances in technology and the shifts we expect to see in the next twenty years as automation takes hold.

“Each higher-skilled, non-routine job created pays, on average, £10,000 more than the routine job it replaces, showing that the UK is benefitting from the technology-driven shifts in our economy.”

End

Notes to editors
*Probability estimates
Estimates of probability are based on calculations by Michael Osborne and Karl Benedict Frey used in Deloitte’s 2014 report Agiletown: the relentless march of technology and London’s response - which forecasted that 35% of today’s jobs rated as high risk of being automated in the next ten to twenty years.

**Calculations on rises and falls in employment
Estimates of rises and falls in employment are calculated by measuring the predicted change in employment between 2001 and 2015, by occupation, based on linear modelling.

***Regional data

Region

Increase in low risk jobs

Increase in medium risk jobs

Increase in high risk jobs

Net job creation

Economic value added (£bn)

South East

46.6%

28.3%

-2.8%

845,000

30.9

London

41.0%

42.3%

1.3%

870,000

30.1

East of England

28.9%

21.8%

-9.3%

306,000

11.2

South West

19.4%

8.5%

-20.6%

256,000

11.2

Scotland

30.7%

20.8%

-4.4%

317,000

10.6

East Midlands

34.8%

22.3%

-11.5%

221,000

8.3

Yorkshire & The Humber

29.7%

21.6%

-11.2%

214,000

7.8

North West

23.6%

16.0%

-12.4%

152,000

6.8

West Midlands

24.5%

22.7%

-14.1%

152,000

6.1

Wales

31.5%

28.6%

0.1%

221,000

6.0

North East

27.1%

26.1%

-5.9%

131,000

4.4

Merseyside

48.4%

31.6%

5.9%

127,000

3.5

Northern Ireland

7.7%

5.0%

-8.7%

135,000

3.4


About Deloitte

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

Mark Smith
Deloitte LLP
+44 (0) 20 7007 7082
+44 (0) 75 9004 1301
marksmith@deloitte.co.uk

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