|Type||Working Paper - DPRU Working Paper|
|Title||Testing positive for automation: Labour-replacing technology and job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa|
The risk of technological job displacement represents an important component of vulnerability to job loss that has been poorly explored in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Expanding on the routinisation hypothesis, this paper merges O*NET occupational descriptors to South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey data to investigate the role of automation risk on the likelihood of job loss between February and May 2020. Further, in a multivariate context, the interacted effects of education and
automation risk on job loss probabilities are explored. The results provide preliminary evidence to suggest that high automation risk was associated with greater probabilities of job loss at the start of the pandemic in South Africa. Consequently, routine-intensive employment may have been lost to labour-replacing technology and may never be regained in future due to the accelerated adoption of automation during COVID-19. The findings highlight the importance of upskilling and retraining workers
into less vulnerable occupations.
|»||South Africa - Quarterly Labour Force Survey 2020, Quarter 1|
|»||South Africa - Quarterly Labour Force Survey 2020, Quarter 2|