Jan 18, 2017 | By Tess

Like many new technologies, 3D printing has generated a lot of excitement while also inciting a fair amount of skepticism and—on occasion—vehement resistance. Perhaps the most prominent critique of the new technology is the idea that the adoption of additive manufacturing across a wide number of industries will result in the loss of jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

According to a recent report by France’s Employment Policy Council (Conseil d’orientation pour l’emploi), this claim could be seen as simplistic and exaggerated. In fact, the report estimates that less than 10% of jobs will actually be threatened by new automated technologies such as 3D printing.

As automated technologies like 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and robotics become more advanced, many people have raised concerns about what jobs and positions could be at risk of disappearing. In fact, many studies have even suggested that large numbers of workers could lose their jobs as tech takes over. To address these concerns, at least within France, the Employment Policy Council has put together a report that outlines not only the risks of new technologies, but also the potentials.

More specifically, the report presents an analysis of how technological advancements could affect the volume of employment, the structure of employment (which includes which industries will be most affected, how businesses will evolve, etc.), and where employment will be most affected (on a national and international level). The study also presents two key findings: 1) less than 10% of jobs are likely to be threatened by the rise of automated technologies, and 2) roughly half of existing jobs are likely to have their descriptions significantly changed by new technologies.

Job positions that could be most vulnerable in the changing technological landscape are also discussed in the report, and include occupations such as maintenance work, industrial work, vehicle operation, etc. Other workers, such as teachers, nurses, salesmen, and receptionists, are at greater risk of having their job descriptions changed to keep up with changing technologies.

Marie-Claire Carrère-Gée, president of the Council, commented on the findings, saying, “With regard to their impact on employment, robotics, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing warrant neither fear nor elation. The transformation that existing jobs will undergo, likely on a large scale, can open up many opportunities and can make many menial tasks less tedious and more efficient. The job losses, potentially significant, can be compensated for by new job creations in France. It’s up to us—economic players, citizens, and public authorities—to provide the means.”

A second volume to the report, which addresses impacts on working conditions, organization, and skills, will be released this spring.



Posted in Statistics



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