HR · 30 May 2017

Employees cite threat of automation among greatest risks to job security

The threat of automation was considered more pressing than immigration or Brexit
UKworkers are more concerned about losing their job to a machine than through outsourcing or immigration, according to new survey findings.

The nationwide survey, by job site Indeed, asked workers what they considered the greatest threats to job security, andresults revealeda gap in priorities betweenemployees and political leaders.

Respondents cited the falling value of the pound as the greatest threat to their job, fearing employers would inevitably reduce their workforce, while Brexit sat outside the top three fears after automation and outsourcing.

However, leaving the single market and ending free movement was still a considerable fear among employees. Only a third believed the labour market would strengthen after Britain left the EU.

Respondents were also more concerned they’d face unemploymentafter anemployer moved abroad for a better trading environment than lose work through immigration.

The main threats to job security cited by employees:

1. Falling value of the pound
2. Automation
3. Outsourcing
4. Brexit
5. Globalisation
6. Immigration
7. Changes to the benefits system

Commenting on the findings, Mariano Mamertino, an economist atindeed, ‘suggested the current election campaigns had largely ignored the potential threat of automation to job security.

Politicans, he said, lagged employees in recognising the threat of automation to jobs.

these results show that the average worker is much more unnerved by the prospect of being replaced by a machine and companies moving jobs abroad, rather than competition from immigration. With net migration to the UK falling in 2016, workers are perhaps ahead of the politicians here, ” Mamertino said in a statement.

Mamertino explained the difficult balancing act of harnessing the benefits of automation, while protecting the UK labour market. While some jobs would inevitably be swallowed by technological advancement, he pointed out these developments underpin overall economic growth.



Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.