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2 billion jobs will disappear by 2030.


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Futurist Speaker Thomas Frey made the prediction in 2012 that 2 billion jobs (roughly 50% of the jobs on the planet) would be gone by 2030.

That's a lot of work disappearing through automation.

Automation - not robots. Economists, lawyers, journalists and politicians use the words interchangeably. Now, automation (with machines) completely disrupted agriculture 100+ years ago and we lost millions of jobs but the global unemployment rate stayed remarkably stable at 8%. Similarly, automation (with computers) has completely disrupted finance, travel, journalism and a few other white-collar jobs in the last generation, but the global unemployment rate stayed remarkably stable at about 8%. 

Right now we are in the middle of the systematic destruction of 'work' as a single 40 hr/week job, driven largely by our technological ability to 'on demand' and deconstruct work.

I hope Frey pushes through to some new material or conjecture around the nature of work.

Andra, you're right to make the distinction between automation and robots.

It's weird because right now we still talk about unemployment and jobs the way we have done for the past century.

I wonder if this change of the nature of work is going to happen so fast that people don't realize it's happening until we're deep into it. 

I think you're on to something - we blame the robots but the fundamental nature of work is changing. I've been to quite a few conferences talks on this subject recently (and next week O'Reilly is launching Next Economy on this issue). The share of employment going to freelancers vs full timers is staggering, this is a new thing. WeWork is changing work far more than Uber. 

They're both reflecting the changes in work that were happening independent of them.

Because the nature of work is changing so quickly we're only beginning to understand WHAT is changing. Why it's changing is complicated too.

But yes, I think over the next 15 years many people will be surprised by how rapidly it all changes.

How the Bay Area is going, so goes the world eventually. 

The average person that turns 30 years old in the U.S. today has worked 11 different jobs. 

In just 10 years, the average person who turns 30 will have worked 200-300 different projects.

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