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'Half of jobs in France' under threat from robots
Half of the jobs in France could soon be carried out by robots. Better think about retraining. Shutterstock

'Half of jobs in France' under threat from robots

Published on: 24 Jul 2014 11:25 CET

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The study from Brussels think-tank Bruegel found almost 50 percent (49.54%) of jobs in France at the moment could be computerized and left to robots in the next two decades.

European countries most at risk from this computerization were Romania (62 percent) and Italy, Poland, Bulgaria and Greece - all 56 percent. France's neighbour Germany could see machines carrying out 51 percent of jobs and 47 percent of UK jobs could be being done by computers in the next two decades.

The exact affect this could have on unemployment rates is unclear because as technology takes over, new jobs are created, meaning those who lose their work to robots will not necessarily become unemployed. 

“Technology is likely to dramatically reshape labour markets in the long run and to cause reallocations in the types of skills that the workers of tomorrow will need," study author Jeremy Bowles of Bruegel said. "To mitigate the risks of this reallocation it is important for our educational system to adapt."

A study published in September last year caused a stir when it listed the jobs in the USA most at risk to robots. 

The study calculated how at risk jobs were of computerization by identifying three things which hinder robots potentially taking over the job – creative intelligence, social intelligence and perception and manipulation tasks.

Telemarketers, clerks, referees and credit analysts were among the jobs most likely to be taken over by robots, while those least at risk included recreational therapists, social workers and doctors.

The Bruegel think-tank took this data from the 2013 study which was based on USA employment figures and applied it to Europe to find out how at risk European countries were.

On the whole, jobs in northern European economies were least at risk of computerization, while those in the south and east were most susceptible.

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