City jobs will be lost to automation earlier than those in the wider job market, new research reveals.
The first wave of automation arriving in the next two to three years will hit financial and professional services hardest compared to other industries, according to the analysis of more than 200,000 jobs across 26 counties by PwC.
As many as 30 per cent of jobs across the economy could be lost to automation by 2030, and between two and three per cent lost during an initial wave beginning in the early 2020s.
But for financial services jobs, that’s predicted to stand at between six and eight per cent because they are easy to automate with simple algorithms.
“When you look at financial services, a lot of jobs are relatively routine jobs such as data analysis. Particularly clerical, which makes up a quarter [of financial jobs], are vulnerable to automation,” said PwC chief economist John Hawksworth.
“To some extent it’s a continuation of what is already happening. We can already see banks moving this way, moving online and closing branches.”
Automation will also continue to be higher into a second “augmentation” wave later in the decade, until a third “autonomy” wave into the mid 2030s when more complicated technology, such as driverless cars and robotics, will have a bigger impact on industries which employ a greater number of people, such as transport, healthcare and teaching.
“It does put a premium on upgrading your skills and developing a new career – it may be that some don’t last,” Hawksworth warned.
“Hopefully employers will help, and even government. Jobs that remain are likely to be high productivity and high wage. Those who develop the skills can boost their prospects in the long term and overall that’s good for the economy as a whole.”
In the long term, GDP is estimated to grow by 10 per cent thanks to artificial intelligence and robotics and related technologies, the report found.