John Maynard Keynes predicted widespread technological unemployment as long ago as 1933. Improvements in technology that displace workers happen faster than we can create new jobs for them, and it snowballs. In 2013, two Oxford researchers predicted that as many as 47% of the jobs in the US could disappear in the next decade or two.
Areas where jobs are likely to be computerized once the technology is good enough include transportation and shipping, production, construction and extraction, office and administrative support, sales, and service. On the other hand, jobs in management, business, financial, computer, engineering, science, education, law, community service, the arts, media and healthcare are probably fairly safe from automation, at least in the forseeable future. (Improvements in technology could always change that.) Looking at that another way, high-wage high-skill jobs are fairly safe, while low-wage low-skill jobs are in danger of disappearing.
This is why we need Basic Income.
The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?
Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne
September 17, 2013
available online at http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf