Australia is heading down the path of low-wage America, rather than down the path of high-wage Scandinavia.
A report commissioned by the Federal government, says 54 per cent of workers are susceptible to automation.
Some technology groups are already experimenting with retail outlets that won’t require human-run checkouts or cashiers.
Amazon, which is expanding into grocery selling, has a supermarket in Seattle with no checkout assistants.
It uses sensors to track what shoppers removed from shelves, using “just walk out” technology to bill customers and end queues.
McDonald’s in the USA is shifting to self-ordering kiosks in its restaurants, removing the need for customers to speak to workers at the counter.
A higher proportion of roles currently filled by women are at risk of automation.
The government has also failed to offer support for the recreation, hospitality, administration and tourism sectors.
Unemployment has been forecast to peak at 8 per cent – in real terms, closer to 17 per cent – from its previous forecasts of 10 per cent, but direct support in the form of JobKeeper and Jobseeker extensions was not included in the recent budget.
In Australia, around 160,000 more people are forecast to lose their jobs by the end of the year.
We’ve had JobKeeper cut by $300 per worker and at the same time that needs have risen.