Automation to boost Australian economy by 177 bln USD: business group

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-31 14:09:01|Editor: Yurou
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CANBERRA, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Australia's top business group has urged workers to embrace automation, dismissing fears that the trend will result in widespread job loss.

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) on Wednesday cited a research that found automation could add 250 billion Australian dollars (177 billion U.S. dollars) to the nation's economy by 2025.

"Change is already upon us. These forces are happening today," BCA chief Jennifer Westacott said in a speech to the National Press Club on Wednesday.

"There is little evidence to suggest that technological change is speeding up the rate of job loss in our community."

Westacott released a BCA study that found that the rate of job loss due to automation in 2018 was consistent with other peaks over the last 50 years.

"Our analysis shows the percentage of workers forced to change jobs has almost halved over the last two decades," she said.

The BCA's findings contradict those of the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia, which estimated that as many as five million jobs could be lost to automation by the mid-2030s.

"When I hear people saying they want to slow down this rate of change, erect barriers to transition, and bring back protectionism, I shake my head," Westacott said.

"This is ubiquitous. It's unstoppable. It's borderless. It's consumer driven. It's skills-focused. If done well, it will be a force for good."

The BCA's campaign to embrace automation comes at a time when the Australian Council of Trade Unions is pushing for new laws to boost stagnating wage growth for Australian workers with the issue set to be a key battleground in the 2019 general election.