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Most NZers confident despite automation

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/06/2017

Many New Zealanders are aware of the potential of technology to change the workplace over the coming decade.

And just a small minority of 500 employees surveyed believe it will lead to the creation of more jobs overall.

Yet the overwhelming proportion - four out of five - are confident their own job will survive.

The survey was conducted by Dr David Brougham, from the Massey Business School, and Professor Jarrod Haar, from AUT, as part of ongoing research into attitudes around the future of work.

Dr Brougham says there is an "interesting cognitive bias" going on when comparing people's awareness of the potential threat of automation with their perception of what it will mean personally.

"We found that half of the people we surveyed had seen media coverage of the issue and only seven per cent said they think that technology will lead to an overall increase in the number of jobs," he said.

"Yet only 20 per cent felt that their own job would be affected."

While the impact of technology was hard to predict, Dr Brougham said there was no doubt that many of today's jobs would either disappear or develop into something quite different.

He said people needed to view developing technology as a potential competitor in the workplace and plan their careers accordingly.

A World Bank Development Report last year warned that 57 per cent of jobs in OECD countries were at risk of disappearing because of automation.

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