A third of Singaporeans believe their jobs are at risk from robots

Kim HoPR Manager
April 17, 2019, 3:11 AM GMT+0

Seven in ten believe the rise of robots and automation will lead to a loss of jobs in the wider economy

Robots and automation are on the rise, and a third of (33%) Singaporeans believe that robots could replace them at work, the latest YouGov Omnibus research reveals.

Those working in accountancy, banking and finance are the most concerned about machines taking their roles, with half (50%) thinking it is possible. At the other end of the scale, only around one in eight (13%) of those working in the business and consulting industry believe they may be replaced by robots. People’s fears about losing their jobs to robots is the same across all age and income groups.

Half (49%) of Singaporeans believe that robots will have some sort of effect on their jobs. Of those who think this, one in twenty (7%) already see their role being affected by robots, the remaining seven in ten (69%) think it will happen in the next 10 years. One in five (22%) believe it will take ten years or more.

Almost all (97%) Singaporeans use technology in their role. A quarter (27%) of people say their job ‘very much’ involves technology, half (50%) state it ‘somewhat’ involves it and two in ten (20%) don’t use technology ‘very much’ in their work role. Only 3% have jobs that don’t involve technology at all.

While three in ten (29%) are “upskilling” – that is learning additional skills in technology, this jumps to four in ten (41%) amongst those who believe their roles are ‘very likely’ to be replaced by robots.

Overall, seven in ten (69%) think that robots and automation will lead to a loss of jobs overall in the wider economy. The remaining three in ten (31%) believe that this wider adoption of technology will lead to jobs being created.

Jake Gammon, Head of Omnibus at YouGov APAC commented: “As we ride the wave of automation, it’s interesting to see the wide gap between those who think it will lead to job losses overall and those who think their role could be taken by a machine. The question will be whether Singaporeans are able to adapt to upcoming changes in the workforce.”

***Results based on 1,083 Singaporeans surveyed by YouGov Omnibus