By 2028 AI Could Take Away 28 Million Jobs in ASEAN Countries

The overall job landscape will look very different in 2028 because where the jobs are created is different from where the jobs are displaced

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The rapid advancement in technology is a serious worry for business leaders like Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Certain industries are experiencing job losses due to the emergence of new technologies like automation, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. That’s what a recent report says. A new study titled “Technology and the Future of Asean Jobs” by Cisco and Oxford Economics studied the impact of AI on workers in ASEAN’s six largest economies.


Speed Up Productivity Growth
Over the next decade, innovations in digital technology will present vast opportunities to ASEAN(Association of Southeast Asian Nations)  economies to boost their productivity and prosperity. The more widespread adoption of existing technologies, coupled with advances in the use of AI through software, hardware, and robotics, has the potential to transform business capabilities, says the study.

As a youthful region (half the 630 million inhabitants are aged under 30) with an internationally competitive manufacturing sector and innovative enterprises, ASEAN is poised to take advantage. However, the digital transformation will also mean that many of the region’s workers face considerable disturbance.

To better understand these opportunities and challenges, Cisco has worked with Oxford Economics to explore what the next decade of technological change will mean for ASEAN workers. A multidisciplinary team of experts were assembled from across the region to advise on the future role of technology in different industries and occupations. The study leveraged data on 433 occupations across 21 industries to model the impact of these technology adoption patterns on the 275 million full-time equivalents (FTE) workers employed in the six largest ASEAN economies (ASEAN-6) by 2028.

The study finds that, by 2028, 28 million fewer workers across these economies — more than 10 per cent of the current ASEAN-6 workforce — will be required to produce the same level of output as today. This constitutes substantial productivity gains from more widespread technology adoption, which will drive growth and create new demands for workers. 

The Most ‘Vulnerable’ Sectors
As per the study, the overall job landscape will look very different in 2028, because where the jobs are created is different to where the jobs are displaced. It identifies that, for some 6.6 million workers across the ASEAN-6 region, the new technology scenario will render their jobs redundant. 

Agriculture will be the major source of these redundancies, as new development — for example in global positioning systems, telematics and smart sensors — are deployed to greater effect, the study adds. It observes that there will be 5.7 million net fewer FTE workers in the agriculture sector by 2028, across the six economies.

Job Creation Potential In Other Sectors
In contrast, many sectors will experience a net increase in their demand for jobs by 2028, because of the rise in spending power through increased productivity more than offsets the jobs directly displaced by technology. The sectors projected to see the greatest rise in demand for new workers are wholesale & retail (1.8 million new FTE jobs), manufacturing (0.9 million), construction (0.9 million), and transport (0.7 million).