GSU: Jobs Lost To COVID-19 Were Already At Risk Due To Automation
Many of the jobs at risk due to COVID-19 were already vulnerable because of advancements in automation, according to a new GSU study.
Food service, retail and construction were already jeopardized by technology making more and more jobs obsolete, but the pandemic has sped up the rate at which businesses are replacing them.
"The pandemic may be increasing the speed of the transition toward automation because of social distancing measures," the GSU brief said. "Concerns regarding the spread of the virus have forced the creative use of digital technologies in education, business and medicine, among other industries."
The brief goes on to praise efforts to educate workers in new skills and technologies, as many may find that the jobs they lost during the pandemic won't return as the workforce recovers.
It found that food service jobs had the most commonality between the impact of COVID-19 and automation.
Similar impacts on jobs have been observed across Europe.
The study said that now is the time for workers to continue being trained in tech, so that there can be less disruption to the economy.
"Governments can use the timely and accurate information generated by these unemployment claims to identify workers who need help ransitioning from the immediate COVID-19 recession," it said.