More than half of workers in ASEAN risk losing jobs to technology

The ADB warns of major disruption in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
By: | August 30, 2019

As many as 56% of the workforce in the ASEAN region could be displaced within the next decade or two as technology continues to disrupt employment. Jobs most at risk are those that involve routine tasks that can increasingly be automated, such as those carried out by sewing machine operators, sales staff, food service personnel and office clerks.

Also under threat according to the latest Asian Development Bank (ADB) study are business process outsourcing (BPO) workers in the Philippines, whose roles will be challenged by increasingly sophisticated voice, text and image recognition.

“While industrial robots have been confined to routine and manual tasks for a long time, they are increasingly capable of undertaking non-routine and cognitive tasks,” the report states. The Labour

To help combat these job losses, labour across the region will need to be more mobile to fill skills gaps in specific countries and industries, advises ADB. This can be facilitated by HR professionals. “ASEAN countries should encourage one another to work together to develop a regional human resource development plan and strategy,” adds the report, entitled Skilled Labor Mobility And Migration – Challenges and Opportunities for the ASEAN Economic Community.