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Australian Job Losses Due To Tech ‘Exaggerated’, Says MS Chief

The prospect of mass job losses from technology has been highly exaggerated, according to Microsoft Australia’s CEO Steven Worrall.

Recent claims that about 45 percent of jobs are likely to be lost or severely disrupted due to technology developments are about double the likely level as Microsoft sees it, he told Australian IT.

“We think a more reasonable figure for the share of jobs likely to be significantly impacted is somewhere in the 20 percent range, not the high-40s,” Worrall said. “The really important message here is about creating new jobs and getting the transformation right, not about jobs being displaced” by robots.

“Australia is clearly on the digital transformation fast track. Within four years we expect to see an additional $45 billion on GDP from digital products and services.”

He pointed to a recent survey of more than 1500 businesses in the Asia-Pacific region, including 100 in Australia, which found 17 percent of jobs would avoid digital disruption; 29 percent would be “outsourced, automated or made redundant”, while 30pc would see workers “retrained and upskilled”, and 24pc moved into “new roles created due to digital transformation investments”.

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