Adaptive NSW: how embracing tech could recharge our prosperity

About the report

Adaptive NSW: how embracing tech could recharge our prosperity explores how emerging technologies could enhance productivity and improve economic growth in NSW.

Key findings

Our modelling suggests that if emerging technologies are widely adopted, they could potentially increase productivity growth in NSW to 2.0 per cent a year and lift the growth rate of real Gross State Product to 3.0 per cent a year to 2035. Under this scenario, Gross State Product would be 11.8 per cent larger by 2034-2035. This represents a ‘productivity dividend’ of an extra $11,600 per person or $27,400 per household (in 2021-22 dollars). Government own-source revenues could also grow by as much as $4.5 billion by 2034-35. 

Our modelling shows that rapid automation would not increase unemployment in NSW. Rather, jobs and work tasks will become more flexible, cognitive, and social. Most new jobs will be created in services but new and expanding industries will also create high-skill, high-pay, tech-related jobs.  

We lay out the core principles for NSW policymakers thinking about technology, automation, and the future of work:

  • Be a fast technology adopter. This means encouraging private sector tech adoption through smart regulation, while embracing technology to improve public services. 
  • Attract and foster the core tech adoption workforce. This requires nurturing entrepreneurship, harnessing local talent with expertise in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and making targeted efforts to attract leading-edge overseas tech talent. 
  • Build all workers’ adaptive capacity. This includes supporting lifelong learning and continuous upskilling, combatting credentialism and creating smooth mid-career transition pathways, and spreading digital education opportunities, microcredentials, and other forms of non-formal learning.  
  • Ensure the process of tech adoption and adaptation is inclusive. This means ensuring smooth transitions for workers and industries facing technological disruption, using technology to diversify regional economies and broaden workforce participation, and ensuring the benefits of technology are distributed widely.