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What jobs will be lost to AI and robotics?

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HIKONE, SHIGA PREF. – An article in the Sept. 8, 2015, online edition of the Toyo Keizai economic journal featured the types of jobs that increased and decreased in number over the period from 1995 to 2010. Topping the list of jobs that increased was care-giving, which rose by 1.25 million, followed by store work (510,000), medical nursing (410,000), cleaning (250,000), child care (160,000) and cooking (120,000). A majority of the jobs that increased over the 15-year period — which saw progress in the computerization of society — were linked to the rapid aging of Japan’s population and the rise in the number of households in which both spouses work.

The biggest decline was found in the farming sector, which saw 1.26 million jobs disappear, followed by construction and civil engineering (1.23 million) and accounting (1.13 million). Further down on the list are real estate and insurance brokers (700,000), managers of corporations and organizations (620,000), retail store owners/managers (590,000), corporate executives (560,000), drivers (470,000), and printing and bookbinding (160,000).

The drop in the farming sector was a continuation of an existing trend. The decline in construction jobs was ascribed to the expanded use of prefabricated building materials and cuts in the government’s public works investments. The falling ranks of managers at retail shops, companies and other organizations and the decline in the number of drivers are likely the result of the post-bubble boom economic downturn. The impact of the digital revolution appears to be limited to accounting, real estate/insurance brokers, and printing and bookbinding.

These data suggest the following two hypotheses: First, while the digital revolution undoubtedly replaced certain jobs with the use of computers, it........

© The Japan Times