Davos WEF
Davos WEF

Fourth industrial revolution expected to boost job creation: CEOs

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to result in an increase of jobs globally although it is likely to be a painful transition, according to chief executives at a jobs panel hosted by CNBC in Davos, Switzerland.

Manpower, one of the world's largest jobs companies, released a Skills Revolution report in conjunction with the Davos forum which surveyed 18,000 employers in 43 different countries across the world. It's findings showed that 82 percent of employers expect to maintain or increase staff levels as a result of automation.

"With automation... certainly there are going to be jobs that will be displaced, but most jobs will be impacted by technology in terms of specific tasks within the job that will change," Jonas Prising, Manpower chief executive, told CNBC on Wednesday in Davos, Switzerland.

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"But overall, the actual job description we believe in the end is not going to be as dramatic as some have mentioned... so we have an optimistic view on (automation) and it is confirmed by our research," he added.

ABB Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer said he was in full agreement with Prising and echoed the upbeat jobs outlook regarding artificial intelligence.

"Employment, prosperity, wealth and automation goes hand in hand if deployed in the responsible way," Spiesshofer added.

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Mark Weinberger, chief executive at EY, told CNBC on Wednesday that he believed the shift to automation and technological improvements in the workplace would be far from easy and described a "painful" transition for many businesses.

"Bottom line is I think this is going to be a tougher transition than we are recognizing. Long term, (there is) optimism but a lot of the fear out there that you are seeing and hearing deals with this retraining if you can't keep up with technological improvements," he concluded.

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