Innovation (including robots) will eliminate 5 million jobs by 2020, study finds

(Shutterstock)

Robotics are going to cause changes to the workforce in the next five years, but don't start running with those robot-takeover conspiracy theories just yet.

About 5.1 million jobs will be lost by the year 2020 because of "disruptive labour market changes," predicts the World Economic Forum in a new study. Many of the factors driving change are technological, like the Internet, big data and robotics.

The types of jobs most negatively affected by market disruptions are office and administrative, manufacturing and production and construction and extraction, according to the study.

One of the biggest changes workers can expect to see is a change in the kind of skills they're required to use.

"Technological disruptions such as robotics and machine learning -- rather than completely replacing existing occupations and job categories -- are likely to substitute specific tasks previously carried out as part of these jobs, freeing workers up to focus on new tasks and leading to rapidly changing core skill sets in these occupations," the report explains.

Those skill sets will be highly social, the report predicts.

"Overall, social skills -- such as persuasion, emotional intelligence and teaching others -- will be in higher demand across industries than narrow technical skills, such as programming or equipment operation and control."

The report also predicts the creation of jobs that we may not have even dreamed of yet.

"By one popular estimate, 65 percent of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don't yet exist," the report reads.

As for the jobs that already exist, the types that can expect the highest growth by 2020 include business and financial operations, management and computer and mathematical.

Related Topics:
careersrobotsjobstechnologydistractionu.s. & worldeconomy