Robots don’t call in sick, take long lunch breaks, or require expensive employee benefits. While a robotic employee might make the company’s owners happy, there’s considerably less enthusiasm among the general workforce regarding the prospect of these machines taking over jobs.
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In some industries, this is likely to happen sooner rather than later. Additionally, robots in the workforce will also create a few interesting new opportunities that many haven’t considered. Here are ten stats about robots in the workforce to get better picture of where the world economy is headed.
- A new report published by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research found that, between 1993 and 2007, there was a four-fold increase in the number of robots across various labor markets.
- Today, there are just 1.75 robots for every 1,000 workers, with the total number of American jobs displaced by automation to date estimated to be approximately 670,000. This is compared to a total employment number for the country of 145.8 million jobs.
- Some economists predict that job displacement by robots could go up another 400% by 2025 to a total of 5.25 robots per 1,000 workers. This would result in a total of 3.4 million jobs lost to automation.
- According to a report by PwC, 38% of U.S. jobs are at high risk of replacement by artificial intelligence and automation over the next 15 years. If you live in the U.K., only about 30% of jobs are in danger of being displaced by robots, and the odds are even lower for residents of Japan at 21%.
- Some business sectors are going to be hit harder than others and location matters. For example, a financial services employee in the U.S. has a 61% chance of being replaced by a robot in the next 15 years, but the same employee in the U.K. only has a 32% chance, nearly half the odds.
- In 2014, most of the industrial robot sales went to five major countries: China, Japan, the United States, Korea, and Germany. In the countries, the future is now for the automated workforce.
- According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, manufacturing industries in the U.S. use 80% of the industrial robots in this country.
- The good news on the horizon comes from Forrester, which predicts that as many as 15 million jobs will be created in the next decade as a result of automation.
- A study by Redwood Software and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) looked at automation trends in 23 countries over two decades. The conclusion was that investing in automation actually adds value to a country’s economy. Specifically, a 1% increase in automation investment correlates with a GDP per capita boost of 0.03%.
- The U.S. is currently the world leader in automation technology investment, with a robotics workforce valued at $732 billion.
Just thinking about robots in the workforce is a source of extreme anxiety for many workers. No one likes to be labeled obsolete. While the numbers seem bleak on the surface, the truth is that workforce automation is going to add value to the economy and create jobs in some key design and support positions.
Replacing traditional workers with robots is a trend that is unlikely to change, but the ability to produce more with fewer resources will inevitably open up new opportunities for investments, jobs, and future growth.