Nov. 29 (UPI) -- As many as 800 million workers worldwide could lose their jobs to automated equipment within 13 years, according to an analysis Wednesday by U.S. consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
The 160-page report, compiled by the McKinsey Global Institute said machine operators, fast-food workers and back-office employees will be the most quickly affected.
The institute said the 800 million workers, about a fifth of the global workforce, could be replaced by automation by 2030. Even if the presence of workplace robots is slower than expected, the report notes, about 400 million workers could still be looking for new work in that time.
The report also said as many as 375 million workers may require retraining to offset the possibility of unemployment.
China was cited as likely having the most to lose in its human employment makeup, with as many as 100 million in danger of losing their jobs if automation takes hold. Also at greater risk, the report adds, is India, the United States and Japan.
The report studied 46 countries and over 800 occupations.
Researchers said in their analysis that technology creates new jobs and allows workers to be more productive, a factor in improved economic growth and higher pay scales.