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Fastest-declining job roles disappearing because of automation


Automation and AI are affecting some professions, but technology is also creating new roles

More than half of the UK’s 20 fastest-declining jobs have fallen in demand because of the effects of automation, according to research from Adzuna.

The Start of the Curve analysed more than 79 million UK job adverts from the previous two years, and found that 10 of the top 20 fastest-declining roles had fallen because of general automation practices, and three had dropped thanks to AI.

The fastest-falling roles were found to be pharmacy assistants, illustrators and design engineers, which had all experienced declines due to general automation. Travel agents and case handlers also saw a drop thanks to general automation, and translators and writers saw a drop due to AI.

However, advances in technology were also found to be behind some of the UK’s fastest-rising job titles. The new role of cloud engineer was attributed to a rise in affordable technology by the researchers, along with titles such as big data engineer and content marketing executive.

Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, said this shows the automation revolution is already well underway. “The robots are not just coming, they are here already in our pockets, workplaces and homes,” he said. “Automation is already replacing jobs and could be set to replace some roles, like translators and travel agents, entirely. But, at least in the short term, AI advances seem to be creating new jobs just as fast.

“Employers and jobseekers alike will need to anticipate and react to this high rate of change or they risk being left behind.”

James Neave, head of data science at Adzuna, predicted that the trend towards automation will continue. “The wave of technological innovation is undoubtedly gathering momentum, and Adzuna analysis suggests this force could be set to significantly change the shape of the UK job market by 2040,” he said. “Although no-one has a crystal ball on this, it looks likely that a substantial portion of all desk-based jobs will become automated within the next 25 years.”