Most conversations about automation and jobs tend to be surrounded with gloom and doom. A quick Google search of the topic will result in a plethora of articles lamenting how our soon-to-be evil robot overlords will cause mass unemployment. We’ve definitely seen how automation reduces the number of jobs in a specific field – especially with manufacturing. Is it possible that automation can create jobs, however?
According to president of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), automation creates jobs rather than eliminates them.
Looking at the numbers
The Association for Advancing Automation examined the relationship between robots and employment in Working in the Automation Age: Sustainable Careers Today and into the Future.
According to the president of A3, the idea that robots kill jobs isn’t accurate. He asserts that if robots eliminated jobs employment figures should fall with an increase in robot sales.
Looking at overall U.S. employment over a 20 year period, the opposite was true. When robot sales rose, employment rose as well. When robot sales dropped, employment dropped. 137,000 robots were delivered in the U.S. over the past seven years. During that period 900,000 new manufacturing jobs were created.
Correlation is not causation, but these figures offer evidence against claims that automation kills jobs.
Displacement not replacement
Automation is an obvious choice over human workers for many jobs and tasks. Physical labor, repetitive tasks, and other easily automated work should be done by robots. At this point, if it’s easy to automate a task or job, it probably should – and probably will – be automated.
Automation removes workers from boring, unappealing, and hazardous jobs. This does not mean, however, that robots are simply replacing human workers.
While automation does eliminate certain jobs, it also creates the potential for new jobs. It allows people to focus on work that provides greater benefits to society. Rather than make tools, human workers can make the robots that make tools, or install them, or repair them, or improve them, etc. Automation displaces works rather than replacing workers.
Automation helps businesses grow
Another way that automation creates jobs is by helping businesses grow. Automation helps businesses provide safer, more appealing work, higher quality products, and increases production and efficiency. All of these things allow businesses to grow. When businesses grow and expand operations, they need more people to help with the workload.
The argument over whether robots will kill or create jobs probably won’t be settled for a while. Both sides can put together a convincing argument. Regardless of which side may ultimately win there’s not denying robots are necessary to manufacturing, now. Make sure your system is running smoothly. Call us today for Indramat service or repair!