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Are we entering a Jobless Society ?

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It must be recognized that an increasing demand for new professions and skills is emerging from the impact of new technologies. But it is precisely these new technologies which will undermine traditional jobs. What, though, is the reality? It was in 2013, that 2 researchers from Oxford University estimated that 47% of total employment would be directly threatened by artificial intelligence and robotization. And this 4th industrial revolution would lead us directly to a jobless society. But most recently, an OECD report published in May 2016 has come to utterly different conclusions: automation and robotization would be a threat for "only" 9% of all jobs. Obviously, even this figure remains a cause of concern. Indeed, such a percentage in a country like France would represent an increase of 1.5 million more unemployed. It also would mean that at the scale of OECD, the current number of about 39 million unemployed people could grow rapidly. And of course, the less skilled workers will be most affected by industrial automation. Many analysts claim that new technologies will continue to destroy jobs but also create new and better ones. Like many others, we believe that there will be several times more jobs lost than created. New technologies, and especially robots and software should be able to replace a majority of low and middle-skilled jobs in manufacturing and even services within the next 2 decades, which is tomorrow. Yet, we clearly all agree on one point: our societies will have to invest heavily in education and training. And more fundamentally, there is also an urgent need to redefine the role of work in society.

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