Banenverlies snijdt door Europa
June 19, 2023 - Layoffs announced since January have surpassed 116,000 as Europe battles decades-high inflation, price volatility in commodities and a growing wave of automation.
Most of the losses are within Europe’s tech sector. At least ten companies have announced more than 88,000 job cuts so far this year.
In May, British telecoms giant BT announced its intention to lay off 55,000 jobs by the decade’s end. Once BT’s fibre-optic network is complete, it will need a smaller workforce for maintenance. BT’s staff of 130,000 will drop by 40 per cent within seven years.
A recent McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, “The future of work in Europe,” suggests that the pace of automation will affect some 53 million European jobs -- 22 per cent of the current workforce of around 240 million people.
MGI’s analysis shows that automation is not the only force shaping the workplace. Europe’s mix of sectors is rebalancing as manufacturing and agriculture continue to recede while services gain more relative weight.
Three sectors will likely account for more than 70 per cent of Europe’s potential job growth through 2030. Human health and social work could generate 4.5 million jobs, followed by professional, scientific, and technical services, which could add 2.6 million jobs, and education, which could gain 2.0 million jobs.
“It’s easy to imagine that, for instance, AI will detect cancers way better than humans could,” Joanne Song McLaughlin, associate professor of labour economics at the University of Buffalo, told the BBC.
“In the future, I’m assuming doctors will use that new technology. But I don’t think the doctor’s whole role will be replaced,” Song McLaughlin adds.