In the past few years, there has been a rapid process of technological developments that is changing the face of the world of work. These changes raise several questions: what will the labor market look like in the future? Which occupations will disappear and which remain essential? What are the skills and aptitudes that will be required to succeed in the new labor market? This chapter maps out the risks faced by occupations in Israel from a process in which computerization will replace manpower; it is based on a similar mapping of the US labor market. Results indicate that workers who supply about 40 percent of the work hours in the Israeli market place are likely to be replaced by computers or machines in the coming two decades. Since the mid-1990s, there has been a decline in the relative share of work hours in such “high risk” occupations. A look at those occupations at high risk shows that they are characterized by requiring low levels of education and low wages and many of them employ non-Jewish men or young workers. These findings emphasize the need to prepare in advance for the expected changes in order to prevent a situation where willing labor market participants are forced out due to a lack of the required skills or aptitude. This preparation may require several steps, including widening the use of vocational training and targeting it to match the relevant characteristics of the workers in high-risk occupations while monitoring the needs of the future labor market.
This paper appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication, State of the Nation Report 2015, Dov Chernichovsky and Avi Weiss (editors).