Mass extinction of jobs! #jobs #automation

Mass extinction of jobs! #jobs #automation



World leaders' speeches today are filled with great promises of "bringing back the jobs". It sounds nice and it's just what you want to hear, right? After years of recession and major layoffs, it's great to hear that our governments are concentrating on increasing employment.

The big question is, that do we want to bring back jobs that nobody should do? Creating more jobs doesn't necessarily create more productivity. Making employment ratings look great by having four people do a single person's job doesn't fix the underlying problem.

"You get what you measure"

Bringing back the jobs is a great punchline, but let's explore where our world is truly going.


We accept that work is a part of human life. We are born, we study, we go to work, have children and then we die. Most of us spend the majority of our lives at work. Around 8 hours a day and 5 days a week.
According to studies, 35% of our waking hours are spent working. Work gives us purpose, defines us and provides us money for life's requirements.
Why do we like to moan how we hate working and would rather be doing something else?
"When the jobs disappear, we have to have a plan B that will keep our society running"


Let's take an example of an imaginary company called X. Company X has transferred majority of their production lines to cheaper countries. Offshoring is an endless cycle, where the cheapest place to produce the commodities, is changing constantly. In this cycle, it is  important to predict the point when the wages start rising in the offshore country. The cycle goes on, and as crazy as it sounds, one day the original production country can be again the cheapest.

Before this happens Company X's origin country has a new government. This new government hands out promises of lighter taxes for companies that invest in the country. Company X makes a decision to bring back the production facilities, but they automate the whole factories and bring only a small fraction of the jobs back.

"Creating value and maximising it, is the primary goal of all companies"

It is a false belief that companies main goal is to employ people. And it is a false goal for mankind to ensure work for everybody. How should we approach a world where automation and robots do our current jobs more efficiently?


I'm quite confident that during the next 10 years we will see more and more jobs disappearing, as our society automatises processes. We all should be critical towards our current jobs, and ponder if they are something that really creates value to the world. It is very refreshing to sometimes re-think our daily routines and what is the point of it all.

Around the world there are countries that are taking steps forward in preparing themselves for automated world. Finland for example has launched a pilot program in basic income. 

"The purpose of the basic income experiment is to find ways to reshape the social security system in response to changes in the labour market. The experiment also explores how to make the system more empowering and more effective in terms of providing incentives for work. Further objectives include the reduction of bureaucracy and the streamlining the complicated system for providing welfare benefits."

When more and more jobs disappear, we will face a situation, where not everyone will be able to be a productive member of our working society. Process controlling, robot making and creating automation will require a smaller and more skilled workforce, that will evolve our society into a more functional place. What will the others then do? We need a plan B!


Are we facing a breaking point in our society's timeline, where we are even more divided than ever? This small, but skilled workforce will enjoy more benefits and value from the work they do to improve our society. In contrast the other part ,that enjoys only universal income, will need to find the content for their life.



What if there was already a new system providing answers to these questions?

"A resource-based world economy would also involve all-out efforts to develop new, clean, and renewable sources of energy: geothermal; controlled fusion; solar; photovoltaic; wind, wave and tidal power; and even fuel from the oceans. We would eventually be able to have energy in unlimited quantity that could propel civilization for thousands of years. A resource-based economy must also be committed to the redesign of our cities, transportation systems, and industrial plants, allowing them to be energy efficient, clean and conveniently serve the needs of all people."


I personally could spend a couple of weeks by not doing anything, but eventually I would get bored. If and when our society is even partly automatised, the unemployed workforce is a major problem that needs answers.  This kind of situation can easily end up in a chaos.


What will happen when there is 500 million Chinese or 1 billion Indians unemployed? Our world changes in a varying pace, so the automated revolution won't happen over one night globally. It will more likely emulate a snowball effect, where automation/robots are easily deployed thus bringing cost efficiency and higher productivity.


Evolution works slowly and we sometimes forget our heritage and where we come from. It's not too long ago when our daily lives was all about survival. Our work was more physical and focused less on the mental side.

Our lizard brain will evolve eventually and go from surviving to thriving. In the meantime your brain is still in the Darwinian mode with characteristics like:

"Territoriality, hierarchical structure of power, control, ownership, wars, jealousy, anger, fear, hostility, worry, stuck or frozen with fear, aggressiveness, conflict, extremist behavior, competitiveness, cold-blooded, dog-eat-dog beliefs, might is right, and survival of the fittest.

OCD, hoarding, looting, superstitions, deception, fight or flight, obesity from fear of lack of food, daily rituals, ceremonial re-enactments,"

How many on the list above, do you recognize in yourself?


A new and brave world awaits us, that can bring us joy and happiness. We can be free from the chains of work and enjoy everyday without the concern of how do we pay our bills tomorrow. It's a world of abundance where technology creates equal opportunities for all mankind. It can remove our ambition from owning things. It can free us, but are we ready for it?

This paradigm change will require a lot of work. It is a paradox.

What would you do tomorrow:

"If you had all the time in the world and could do whatever you wanted?"


Published by Juha Petteri Falck

Comment here...

Login / Sign up for adding comments.