The professions that after the covid-19 are at risk due to automation – Sectors – Economy

Little by little we will return to the new normal that the covid-19 crisis has left. However, there are things that have changed forever. In a world that wants to have less and less physical contact, the telecommuting It has experienced a decisive boost in the last year and with it would come structural changes in the labor market. Even some professions could be in danger.

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In recent months, the demand for new jobs has been affected by the different biosecurity restrictions that many companies have had to implement to contain the spread of covid-19. The pandemic It not only pushed people to work from home, but it also forced them to go tech.

In Colombia, according to a study carried out by the Banco de la República, occupations characterized by a high potential to be automated, that is, to become automatic, showed a lower recovery between April and December 2020.

If this trend continues, according to this research, called ‘Moderate recovery of employment in 2021 and dynamics of vacancies in automated jobs during the pandemic’, the demand for these activities could be reduced in the future. Among them are some such as those that perform workers, artisans or other elementary professions (domestic and cleaning personnel, mining, construction and industrial works or street vendors).

Trades with the greatest potential to be automated


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On the contrary, according to the report, activities that have a low rate of automation, such as the case of professionals, technicians and traders they have had a better recovery and would not be affected later.

This reduction in new jobs in more automated professions would lead to a process of reallocation of the workforce, which could have effects on the market, such as a higher unemployment rate in the long term. For this reason, the study indicates that in the future public policies would be required, which may include greater training and training of the workforce.

The study not only looked at how automation might affect the creation of new jobs, but also looked at how teleworking and physical distancing affect them.

For this, the researchers from the Banco de la República took into account how vacancies in the Public Employment Service have been recovering. Although they were not found to be significant on the side of physical distancing between employees, on telework they did.

They found a higher demand during the pandemic for those jobs that are more teleworkable; However, this difference ceased to be significant as of September 2020, with a slight rebound in December 2020.

Therefore, according to the study, the telework strategy does not in itself imply a direct destruction of current jobs, but it does allow a change in the structure of companies, which due to biosafety restrictions have leaned towards a greater demand for teleworkable occupations.

For Iván Jaramillo, director of the Labor Observatory of the Universidad del Rosario, in the context of the economic and health crisis, the displacement towards remote work channels has prevailed in the employment protection strategy.

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“The risk of automation increases to the extent that the activities are repetitive and elementary, which explains the inclusion of the most elementary occupations that converge in the literature as especially exposed to the risk of automation and robotization,” said Jaramillo.

Examples in other countries

The document mentions examples from other countries where the same professions would also be affected. In the United States, they affirmed that after several months of reactivation, automated jobs have recovered at a slower rate than expected, which could lead to a permanent loss of these jobs.

In the case of Spain, the authors Dolado, Felgueroso and Jimeno (2020) indicated that new technologies such as artificial intelligence, in addition to other automatable activities that are not susceptible to covid-19, will have an important impact on the reassignment of jobs in job.

Mainly, they assure that jobs in low-skilled and labor-intensive occupations, such as personal services, hotels, restaurants and recreational activities, would be displaced.


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