University of São Paulo: Pandemic generates changes in the labor market through digitalization

The pandemic has accelerated the digitization of work. This is what the World Economic Forum concludes after research released in October this year. According to the survey , by 2025, about 85 million jobs will be replaced by robots. Approximately 80% of the executives interviewed said that they are accelerating the digitization of work and the implementation of technologies, and 43% of them are expected to reduce labor, while up to 97 million new jobs may arise due to the automation process. According to an expert, the retail market and the service sector were hardest hit by digitalization during the pandemic.

Professor César Alexandre de Souza, from the Department of Administration, Faculty of Economics, Administration, Accounting and Actuaries at USP, explains that automation of jobs is a trend accelerated by the need to reduce human contact during the pandemic. “There was this whole issue of reducing human contact, which is a need that arose specifically because of the pandemic. So, many companies rushed to implement this in relation to customer service and e-commerce as an access tool to reduce the maximum contact. ”

Repetitive jobs that do not require specific skills should be replaced. But, at the same time that technology ends up with some jobs, others are created, as the professor informs: “While there is a reduction in local jobs due to some technology, realize that technology also allows this service is expanded and reduces the need for a manpower for repetitive work, which increases efficiency, and then new jobs arise simply because it increases the scale of service ”.

Although the pandemic has accelerated the work automation process, it also revealed the need for human contact to guarantee the full functioning of society. For Alexandre de Souza, the pandemic showed that it is not possible to live in a fully digitalized society: “Many who thought that society could be fully digitalized are seeing that it is not quite like that. We need human contact. Now, a trend that was already happening has accelerated ”.

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