switching on Nearly half of current jobs could be lost to machines

While self-scan machines at checkouts are becoming more common, some people prefer to deal with a human being


Almost half of the current positions in the Swiss job market could be lost to automation in the next 20 years, in principle. A report by consulting firm Deloitte has shown how machines are changing Swiss employment.

The study, which was carried out with the Swiss Public Television programme ‘Eco’, concluded that more jobs had been created in the past 25 years “not least thanks to automation”, than had been lost. However, positions where it was unlikely that a machine could take over the main tasks of the role grew “significantly” over the past 25 years, such as lawyers, doctors and psychologists. Jobs that seemed very likely to be replaced by an automated process grew less significantly or even decreased.

The more qualified a person has to be for a job, the less likely that they could be replaced by a machine. This was not always the case however. Jobs such as accountants and financial advisors require a high level of education, but also have a high 95% probability of becoming automated, according to the report.

Similarly, roles such as child minders and medical assistants were seen as unlikely to be replaced by machines, although they required a low to average level of education.

Bjornar Jensen, partner and innovation lead at Deloitte in Switzerland, said in a media release that the findings meant people should focus on “creativity, social interaction and a high level of customer service”. 

swissinfo.ch and agencies