Three in ten Malaysians believe their jobs are at risk from robots

Three in ten Malaysians believe their jobs are at risk from robots
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Seven in ten believe the rise of automation will lead to a loss of jobs in the wider economy

Robots and automation are on the rise, and three in ten (29%) Malaysians believe that robots could replace them at work, the latest YouGov Omnibus research reveals.

Younger Malaysians (those aged 18 to 24) are the most concerned about machines taking their roles, with over four in ten (45%) thinking it is possible. At the other end of the scale, only two in ten (18%) of older Malaysians (those aged 45 and above) believe they may be replaced by robots. Similarly, low income earners (those earning less than RM 4,000 a month) believe they are more likely to be replaced by robots than higher income earners (those earning more than RM8,000 a month) (33% vs. 24%).

Half (49%) of Malaysians believe that robots will have some sort of effect on their jobs. Of those who think this three in ten (30%) think it will happen in the next five years. Three in ten (30%) see this happening in the next five to ten years, and one in three (35%) believe it will take ten years or more. The remaining 4% already see their roles affected by robots.

Almost all (96%) Malaysians use technology in their role. Two in ten (20%) say their job ‘very much’ involves technology, four in ten (43%) state it ‘somewhat’ involves it and a third (33%) don’t use technology ‘very much’ in their work role. Only 4% have jobs that don’t involve technology at all.

Over half (55%) are “upskilling” – that is learning additional skills in technology, and this jumps to three quarters (75%) 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 Malaysians are able to adapt to upcoming changes in the workforce.”

***Results based on 1,009 Malaysians surveyed by YouGov Omnibus