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OECD Says 14% of Jobs Will Disappear in Next 10 Years (youtube.com)
49 points by joeyespo 6 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 54 comments





It wouldn't surprise me if 14% of existing jobs disappear every 10 years. Pick any 10 year window and the jobs at the beginning will be different than the jobs at the end, and most of the the jobs that remain will have different requirements.

Ill bite. What jobs have disappeared in the last ten, twenty and thirty years?

Not vanished, but close. Telephone operators.

I worked at a company that had an entire floor of telephone operators. Now they have none. I wouldn't be surprised if they are all gone from this company in the entire USA.

On site techs? Also all gone. Replaced by commodity equipment and installed by people making $12 an hour.


You still had telephone operators 10 or 20 years ago?

The earliest telephone backbones that didn't require operators anymore are from the 1920s. Operators were still used for international calls, but definitely not after ~1990.

Source: There is a telecommunications museum across the street from my workplace.


Check processing went from a building of 700 people to almost none, in one place that I know of. This was driven by the move to imaging checks electronically which I believe is called electronic presentment.

You do need to define “disappear” very carefully. It’s quite rare for jobs to truly disappear, but they can effectively disappear. Example: there are still horse drawn carriage drivers, but as a percentage of the labor force it has disappeared.

Now to answer your question: farmers.


> there are still horse drawn carriage drivers

Only as a quaint novelty.


... duh? That was kind of my point.

not OP, but off the top of my head:

* mainframe administrators

* cobol developers

* punchcard operators

* manufacturing (in the united states)

* car mechanics (huge decline as car quality has gone up)

* mining (in the united states)

* farmer

that's without thinking too deeply about it ... i could think of more if you want. note that a lot of these are declines, as opposed to eliminations.


Manufacturing jobs may have become less in numbers but they are no way near gone. So i’m not sure that really counts as a valid answer.

Same with mechanics. These jobs are not gone but possibly shrunk in total # of jobs. Quality may have gone up but so has complexity of repairs.

Now, farmers. Again, these jobs may have shrunk but the jobs are still there. I could count on both hands of families I know living in proximity to me that run family farms for business. You can drive 30 miles from me and go through three towns that are maintained because of farm land.

edit: on mobile so didn’t see your decline != elimination note at first


> Manufacturing jobs may have become less in numbers but they are no way near gone. So i’m not sure that really counts as a valid answer.

so, a large shrinkage of jobs isn't a decline? if the definition of jobs disappearing is the whole profession being eliminated then you'll never have any jobs "disappear" ... there will always be artisans in any field: look at blacksmiths for instance. so i'm not sure how these wouldn't be valid.

same goes for mechanics, and farmers. the number of jobs have shrunk - those jobs have disappeared. for farmers it's due to an increase in factory farms and labor saving devices, sure there are still farmers (and quite a few where i live, where locally grown food is sought after), but for the most part those jobs have disappeared.

unless we're operating on a different definition of "disappear"? if 100 people have a job that is now being done by 25 people due to either decline of need or mechanization, then those 75 jobs have disappeared.


No job ever goes away entirely. There are still farriers out there.

There ares still jobs for cobol devs just like there are jobs for VB developers just a lot less

COBOL jobs actually pay quite a bit


Farmers? Have you eaten in the last couple of days? Not to mention mining and manufacturing. OECD is a global organization looking at world wide changes, movement of jobs elsewhere doesn't mean they've disappeared.

Agriculture is quite automated these days. Self-driving harvesters have been around for a couple of years.

Accountants have massively changed. Excel can do what it took a room of accountants before. Tools that can mupliply the output of one perosn are "replacing" jobs.

And still most accountants will have no trouble whatsoever finding a job.

She said 14% of jobs, not 14% of job titles.

I assume that automation will hollow out some job titles, and then maybe totally kill them, and others it will just whittle down, with an increasing speed of the whittling over the coming decades.

Other people have provided some interesting job titles that have, if not been totally deleted, at least depleted to such a degree as to be slightly anachronistic.


Most jobs don't disappear entirely, but they disappear in a horse & buggy sense.

See travel agents.


secretary is probably the biggest one

Admins and secretaries are largely indistinguishable beyond the reduction in some stupid tasks (now delegated to office managers or workplace resources).

Their numbers have shrunk, though. There used to be a 1-1 relationship between middle-managers and secretaries, now you have a PA for the boss and maybe a couple admins every hundred people or so (hr, facilities).

Appliance repair.

Maybe the professionals, but not the concept. I feel like appliances have gotten more numerous and crappier, but spare parts and repair videos/instructions are easier to find than ever. Often the failure modes are so common for a single model over enough time (e.g. whenever X is the symptom for Y, it's typically an issue with Z).

While databases are still administered, DBA as a title has largely disappeared over the past 15 years.

Website devs, what took 15 - 20 devs now takes 5

There are far more than 4* the number of websites though, so it's likely there are more web devs now.

Which is the upside of automation and AI "taking jobs away from people"; the adoption of new technologies makes things cheaper, easier and more accessible, so more people do it than before, resulting in a bigger market and more net economic activity in that space, and maybe even more of the people who carry out that role, not fewer.

Fax machine support engineer

Video rental clerks

Coal miner.

> Pick any 10 year window

1140CE - 1149CE


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1140s

New jobs were appearing then:

- Monk

> The first Cistercian monastery in Spain is founded in Fitero.[1] The order enjoys a rapid expansion in the region in the following 15 years.

- Arabic Translator in Europe

> Robert of Ketton makes the first European translation of the Qur'an into Latin.

- Explorer

> The exploration of the uncharted eastern parts of Germany begins, and results in the founding of cities such as Lübeck.

- Cathedral Builder

> Construction begins on Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France.

- Crusader

> Pope Eugene III issues the bull Quantum praedecessores, calling for the Second Crusade. At Christmas Louis VII of France announces his intention of making a pilgrimage which becomes part of the Crusade.


All those job categories existed before.

That's a good point: the pace of technological change is accelerating.

We have also to consider how many currently nonexistent jobs will appear.

Serious question, but silly premise: Are kids playing with AR/VR (unintentionally) preparing for future jobs?

I don't think the premise is silly, and I think the claim is obviously, even perhaps trivially, true. I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that AR/VR interfaces will become more important, and kids interacting with new technology (esp new interfaces) in any time period are "unintentionally preparing for new jobs".

Hell, I've never taken a typing class in my life, but I was a faster typer than most people by the time I hit college purely from the hours I wasted on AIM.


Yes. Absolutely. Not only that, but just living in accordance with their own preferences prepares them for future jobs, since future jobs are second-order effects of changing cultural preferences.

I didn't set out to work in software. I just did stuff that seemed fun on the computer and the rest of the world agreed that this was a thing we wanted to keep doing.

I'm a designer, and the rise of mobile devices as a replacement for the computer is illustrative of these changes. There are roles in a modern design team where "I don't know a damn thing about how desktops used to work – my default way of thinking is how this would work on an iPhone" is a cognitive feature as much as it's a shortcoming.

I expect this will be true of many things, AR/VR being one, mmorpg/highly-online-third-space being another. I feel old for only caring about offline singleplayer campaign. The next generation of game designers will mentally default to fortnight's group interaction model. In this way, deeply understanding fortnight etc is absolutely preparing kids for the future of not only gaming, but document authoring, telepresence, and who the hell knows what else.


The unfortunate part about this is when a child isn’t allowed to follow their inclinations, in effort to keep up with today’s preferences. Happens so often and it’s super sad. But yeah, fortnite, it’s pretty much team activities in the 21st century. People who’ve never had to perform complex tasks over the internet just won’t get it.

My son (11) is inclined to play Fortnite over essentially all other activities that occur indoors. Outdoors is still a world filled with unstructured fun, but indoors if he's left to his own inclinations then he's playing Fortnite (and to lesser degree Scrap Mechanic). We've decided to limit his gaming to alternate weeks and then limit on-weeks to 2 hours per day, except weekends which are unlimited. I have no idea if this is a good approach. As a parent who doesn't game and cares about balance, this is quite a hard problem.

I definitely played too much when I was in high school. It was a symptom of a bigger problem though. I’d also crunch a lot of numbers trying to optimize my characters’ stats, and that inclination definitely stuck with me - it’s basically my job now to write code to crunch numbers for people.

Best of luck, friend; you’re right, it’s a hard problem.


Like some other posters have said, it is very trivially true what you say. In ways we can’t even really even think of.

All of these articles, it’s like, news flash, the world changes. And goes on. And on. Has for millions of years.


Are they playing realistic (at least to some degree) simulators or just games like fortnite?

According to the last batch of BLS statistics "programmers" were disappearing and are being replaced by "software developers".

Both referred to the same (although gradually evolving) thing but one term was starting to be seen as outdated while the other took over.

There wasn't any real attempt to distinguish real change from name change as far as I could tell.


The computing professions are going to get a shakeup as time goes.

Companies are starting to wise up to the penny wise-pound foolish of quarterly results.


can you elaborate on how those two things are related?

Perhaps that has already been considered? It's hard to say from the interview.

At what rate?

Demand for Talent Converges on Critical Roles in the U.S., U.K. https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/demand-for-talent...

- 49% of all job postings by S&P 100 companies in 2018 were for just 39 roles. The remaining 51% were for 872 other roles.

- 41% of all job postings by FTSE 100 companies in 2018 were for just 20 roles. The remaining 59% were for 641 other roles.

- The most competitive roles are in critical functions across IT, research and development, marketing, sales and customer service.


It’s easy to postulate that advertised vacancies largely belong to two macro groups: scarcity-driven (IT, R&D) and churn-driven (sales, marketing, customer services).

Many (most?) jobs are never advertised.


What is the baseline? Don't a lot of jobs disappear in an average decade since the industrial revolution?

Well, another recession will come in next 10 years (as always, it's a pattern), and 14% of people will be laid off. These are hardly an insight.

Doesn't this argue against a large amount of immigration by the unskilled, into those countries which are already at high levels of youth unemployment?



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