In a study of executives and specialists across 12 industries, published on Sept. 17, the WEF concluded that this so-called "Fourth Industrial Revolution" could create 133 million jobs globally, while 75 million workers may be displaced.
Saadia Zahidi, head of the WEF’s Center for the New Economy and Society, said companies had "a moral and economic imperative" to invest in retraining and continuing education for their employees. "Without proactive approaches, businesses and workers may lose out," she said.
The report is the latest in a series of efforts by academics, consultancies and governments to assess the impact of new technologies on employment. Previous studies, including an earlier one by the WEF, have generally forecast automation will destroy more jobs than it creates.
The scale of projected displacement varies enormously between research groups, however.
A Bank of England study in 2015 produced some of the bleakest figures, forecasting that as many as 80 million jobs in the U.S. and 15 million in the U.K. could be lost by 2035.
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