With the capital that went on to spark the digital revolution effectively built up in part during the Industrial Revolution, it’s rather ironic that a couple of generations later we’d be questioning whether or not the subsequent digital revolution is stealing away those jobs that were deeply-rooted in the Industrial Age. But is the digital revolution really stealing jobs?
A short-term view suggests so
Perhaps just for interest’s sake, if you narrowed your view down to a short period of time, the most logical conclusion you’d draw from the jobs stats would be that the digital revolution is indeed stealing jobs. When you look at the proportion of people who enjoy online slots, UK numbers paint a pretty scary picture when you consider how many physical casinos have subsequently had to scale down their operations and perhaps even shut down completely. So every online casino platform that pops up, it’s either a completely new one which doesn’t have any history of a physical equivalent, or it could be a digital version of one that previously existed physically. It could also be a physical one joining the digital revolution as well, offering online gaming in addition to its physical equivalent…
Online casinos obviously then don’t need to hire the likes of croupiers, cleaning staff, floor managers, floor security personnel, etc.
A longer-term view paints a different picture and tells a different story
So the short-term view paints a pretty scary picture, suggesting that the digitisation of something like a casino, which employs so many people, is indeed eating-away at jobs. A longer term view, however, which is a more objective view too, tells a different story.
It’s not a matter of the jobs that are seemingly becoming defunct disappearing altogether. For every job opportunity that is effectively lost to digitisation, new ones are being created in the subsequent digital world.
You’d be shocked to learn just how many staff an online casino employs, although many of its employees would be engaged in high-level careers instead of menial jobs. There are plenty of roles, from cyber security personnel to software testers and the many different roles within the marketing division.
There are roles for accountants, bookkeepers and legal professionals, all of which require management.
What about the physical location at which the servers powering the platform are housed? It needs some physical maintenance too, so if a cleaner in one part of the UK would have had a cleaning job at a casino, they might have the same cleaning job in another part of the UK, where the servers powering the digital version of the casino are stored and operated.
What does the future look like?
Any economy should be looked at as the sum of all its parts, in which case it becomes clear that it’s rather greater than the sum of its parts. So in a future where there is a greater emphasis on digitisation and automation, we must never forget that the infrastructure operating the digital world still needs physical housing and maintenance.
The future is NOW!