A total of 1.4 million U.S. workers might lose their jobs as a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and other structural changes over the next decade, a report said on Tuesday.
A World Economic Forum (WEF) report published added that re-skilling would cost approximately $34 billion, which is necessary.
“The costs will largely fall on the government, as the private sector is only able to profitably absorb re-skilling for 25 per cent of at-risk workers.
“This could rise to 45 per cent if businesses collaborate to create economies of scale,’’ according to the report.
The report: “Towards a Re-skilling Revolution: Industry-Led Action for the Future of Work” found that it will be possible to transition 95 per cent of at-risk workers into positions that have similar skills and higher wages.
Since 18 per cent of all at-risk workers in the U.S. are unable to be profitably re-skilled by either business or the public sector, the report implied that the government must consider expanding welfare and other supports.
The question of who should pay for re-skilling is becoming increasingly urgent as hundreds of thousands of jobs will be displaced over the next decade as a result of artificial intelligence and big data analytics, the report said.
In a 2018 report entitled: “The Future of Jobs 2018,” the WEF calculated that in spite of the displacement of 75 million occupations worldwide through automation between 2018 and 2022, about 133 million new roles could be created.
However, WEF also said that although it will be possible to provide workers with the skills to fill the new roles, the needs for re-skilling and ongoing up-skilling for the majority of workers should be given focus.
A WEF official said that participants will hold in-depth discussions over this issue during the ongoing annual meeting in Davos this week.