Robot workers replacing human jobs is a topic of growing debate, but in reality, automation requires human skills.

A new report from ManpowerGroup, Humans Wanted: Robots Need You, found that 91% of U.S. employers plan to increase or maintain headcount as a result of automation for the third consecutive year.

Just 4% predicted job losses due to automation, according to the more than 1,500 U.S. employers surveyed on the impact of automation on job growth in the next two years.

Companies that are digitizing are growing, and that growth is producing more and new kinds of jobs.

Organizations that are already automating tasks and advancing their digital transformation are most confident of increasing headcount; 34% of U.S. employers that have started their digital transformation are expecting to create more jobs in the next two years.

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Talent Shortages and Job Growth

The U.S. is facing low unemployment, acute talent shortages, and increasing talent demand as new skills appear as fast as others disappear, prompting companies to build talent like never before.

Seventy-six percent of employers plan to upskill their workforce by 2020, compared with 28% in 2011 and a 21% increase from last year.

"…Despite the humans versus robots debate, employers are telling us they intend to add to their workforce as they digitize and require uniquely human skills to complement the machines," said Becky Frankiewicz, President of ManpowerGroup North America, in a statement.

"Organizations automating at a faster pace plan to create the most jobs, yet skilled talent is in short supply across the country.

"We need to move past our fear of tech eliminating jobs and take action to reskill the workforce to ensure no one is left behind."

The Humans Wanted report found that demand for IT skills is growing significantly and with speed; 16% of companies expect to increase headcount in IT, double those expecting a decrease.

Production and manufacturing employers anticipate the most churn as new skills are created while others become outdated leading to a net headcount increase of 7% (19% say they will employ more people in the next year, while 12% say they will employ less).

Job growth will come in frontline and customer-facing engineering and management roles—all of which require human skills such as communication, negotiation leadership, management, and adaptability.


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