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Robots could take half of jobs in Spain

The Local · 24 Jul 2014, 14:16

Published: 24 Jul 2014 14:16 GMT+02:00

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The study from Brussels think-tank Bruegel found 55.3 percent of jobs in Spain at the moment could be computerized and left to robots in the next two decades.

European countries most at risk from this computerization were Romania (62 percent) and Portugal (59 percent).

The exact effect this could have on unemployment rates is unclear because as technology takes over, new jobs are created, meaning those who lose their work to robots will not necessarily become unemployed. 

“Technology is likely to dramatically reshape labour markets in the long run and to cause reallocations in the types of skills that the workers of tomorrow will need," Jeremy Bowles of Bruegel wrote about his study last week. "To mitigate the risks of this reallocation it is important for our educational system to adapt."

A study published in September last year caused a stir when it listed the jobs in the USA most at risk to robots. 

The study calculated how at risk jobs were of computerization by identifying three things which hinder robots potentially taking over the job – creative intelligence, social intelligence and perception and manipulation tasks.

Telemarketers (at a 99 percent risk), clerks, referees and credit analysts were among the jobs most likely to be taken over by robots, while those least at risk included recreational therapists, social workers and doctors.

“I find it hard to believe robots can do telemarketing jobs,” Konstantin Appelt, CEO of Call Centre Barcelona, told The Local.

Story continues below…

“It’s been tried before already and it failed. People don’t want to talk to machines, they just hang up straight away.”

The Bruegel think-tank took this data from the 2013 study which was based on USA employment figures and applied it to Europe to find out how at risk European countries were.

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