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Asia – ASEAN youth optimistic about impact of technology on jobs

12 September 2018

The youth from ASEAN countries (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) are highly optimistic about the impact of technology on their job prospects and incomes, according to a survey from the World Economic Forum.

The World Economic Forum’s survey gathered results from 64,000 ASEAN citizens through users of Garena and Shopee, online games and e-commerce platforms from the Sea Group, a Singapore-based internet company. Most respondents were from six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Viet Nam, Singapore and the Philippines.

According to the survey, 52% of the under-35 generation across Southeast Asia said they believe that technology will increase the number of jobs available, while 67% said they believe that technology will increase their ability to earn higher incomes.

“Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies like artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and self-driving vehicles will bring significant disruption to the job market,” said Justin Wood, Head of Asia Pacific, and Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum. “No one knows yet what impact these technologies will have on jobs and salaries. Globally there is concern that technological change may bring rising inequality and joblessness. But in ASEAN, the sentiment seems to be much more positive.”

The survey found that the degree of optimism about the impact of technology on the future of work varied strongly by country. The youth of Singapore and Thailand were much more pessimistic in their responses, while the youth of Indonesia and the Philippines were much more optimistic.

In Singapore, 31% said they believe that technology would increase the number of jobs, compared to 60% in the Philippines. The results also vary by level of education. Among those who stated they have no schooling, 56% said they believe that technology would increase jobs. Among those with a university degree or higher, 47% felt the same way.

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