Economic divides within Europe could be deepened by rise of technology, affecting poorest countries, lagging regions and unskilled workers the most, says a new World Bank report.
The advancement of technology in the region helps high-income earners and the most advanced companies in affluent regions and it risks increasing unemployment and plunging more people into poverty in some of Europe’s most deprived areas, says the report, “Growing United: Upgrading Europe’s Convergence Machine“.
It, for instance, says that between the late 1990s and today, productivity growth has decelerated from 2% to 1.5% in Northern Europe while productivity growth in Southern Europe has decelerated twice as fast.
The report points out that manual jobs across the EU have declined by more than 15% while creative and analytical jobs have gone up by the same amount in the last 15 years.
The report recommends policymakers to boost skills for workers, readying them for new jobs in a rapidly evolving labour market.
“The EU’s remarkable convergence machine has boosted growth and prosperity, benefitting people and firms across all of Europe for more than sixty years. Convergence, however, is not automatic. The machine will stall unless steps are taken to ensure people benefit equally,” says World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva.