The RSA uses cookies on this website. By using this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more read our cookie policy and privacy policy. More Info

Work and automation in the time of Covid-19


  • Future of Work
  • Employment
  • Technology


Covid-19 looks likely to create ‘a tsunami of job losses’. There are also signs the pandemic could rapidly accelerate the pace of technological change. 

This report explores how these forces could interact to fundamentally reshape the labour market.

We set out a risk register that combines an analysis of the impacts of the pandemic on different sectors, with measures of automation risk and their growth or decline over the last decade.

Our aim is to help decision makers identify the jobs which are vulnerable or resilient to these two different forces. We make recommendations for what policy support is needed to make sure all workers can gain or retain access to good work, during the pandemic and beyond.

Download the report (PDF)

pdf 1.4 MB

Related articles

  • The pandemic through the stories of key workers

    Long form

    Jake Jooshandeh

    During the pandemic, many key workers have experienced impacts on their economic security, mental and physical health, working and home lives. These are just some of their stories.

  • Improving the economic security of key workers is good for us all


    Jake Jooshandeh

    Tackling economic security is the right political agenda. It’s good for key workers, it’s good for employers, and it’s good for the economy.

  • Key workers in the pandemic


    Jake Jooshandeh

    This report puts forward a comprehensive agenda to tackle economic insecurity in key workers and ensure they are properly supported to enjoy secure, healthy, fulfilling lives.

The Future of Work

We want to make sure that everyone, regardless of background or starting point, can pursue good work.