The future of work for young people: early occupational pathways and the risk of automation in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Automating workplaces that results in a loss of jobs has become a topic of public debate and study but has paid little attention to differential impacts on age groups. This paper applies OECD data on the risk of jobs being automated to Australian longitudinal survey data following 15 years old students over a ten-year period as they enter the job market. Whilst in the early stages of their working lives, these young Australians often worked in jobs projected to be at high risk of automation, they gradually moved into jobs and occupations projected to be less exposed to automation. Young Australians were also less likely to work in jobs at risk of automation than the average Australian. Besides socio-demographic factors, including educational attainment but also domestic wealth, the incidence and kind of computer use at home were associated with working in jobs at a higher or lower risk of automation, as were young workers’ type of employment contract and whether young employees changed employers. Whilst suggestions of large-scale job losses owing to automation may be exaggerated, the socio-economic divide that extends to exposure to at risk occupations ought to be a matter of policy concern.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Australia
  • automation
  • Future of work
  • labour market
  • occupations

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