Towards the G7 Labor: focus on labor market developments.
One of the main topics of the G7 Ministerial Meeting on Labor to be held at the end of September will be the changes on the labor market triggered by technological development. According to the World Economic Forum's "The Future of Jobs" report published on January 2016, 37% of the leading professional skills will deeply change by 2020 at global level. In Italy this figure rises to 48%, France and Germany stand at 37% and 38%, the United States at 29%, the United Kingdom at 28% and Japan at 25%. In line with these predictions, OECD data show that the percentage of workers using a PC with Internet connection is constantly increasing: 41.1% in Italy, 53.4% in France, 52% in Germany and 55.9 % in the United Kingdom, just to mention data from some G7 countries.
In this framework, the G7 Labor Ministerial Meeting aims to be an opportunity to promote an organic and structured discussion on the impacts of technological transformation on labor market, giving possible responses to manage this phenomenon. One of the main issues that will be addressed is the risk of technological unemployment and the increase of economic inequalities. It is therefore necessary to rethink welfare, investments and social infrastructures, in order to strengthen the social protection networks, providing everyone with a strong welfare system of active and passive employment policies and social security continuity. Finally, specific attention will be paid to the use of new technologies to mitigate the impact of current demographic trends - in particular population ageing and migration - on the labor market and social security systems.
Indeed, on these major changes, Italy has already begun a discussion at national level in the Forum “How the Labor is changing” organized last April by the Ministry of Labor, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Education, University and Research, and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Office. The Forum has produced a report titled "The Changing Labor. Digitization, automation and the future of work." This document will surely offer a good starting point to the discussion of the G7 Ministers.
Given the risks but also the opportunities for the Labor market arising from the technological transformation in progress, the G7 governments have a fundamental responsibility in managing these changes by promoting economic and social policies aimed at extending the benefits to an increasing number of citizens. Through this Ministerial Meeting, the Italian Presidency of the G7 and the Ministry of Labor want to give an active contribution to the current debate, trying to give answers and reassurances to the concerns and fears of citizens.