“Producers will only automate if doing so is profitable. For profit to occur, producers need a market to sell to in the first place. Keeping this in mind helps to highlight the critical flaw of the argument: if robots replaced all workers, thereby creating mass unemployment, to whom would the producers sell? Because demand is infinite whereas supply is scarce, the displaced workers always have the opportunity to find fresh employment to produce something that satisfies demand elsewhere.” – Analyst Kallum Pickering in The Guardian
It’s an important point. The economy is a sometimes-delicate balancing act.
Automation can give businesses more efficient system and eliminate wages for routine tasks. They are more likely to effect low wage earners than higher paying jobs. However, how many managers do you need to supervise a staff of robots? Kind of sounds like a riddle, but in practicality, you need fewer. In fact, a research report from consultant McKinsey & Company, even some CEO’s could be replaced by automation.
University of Oxford research take a more stark view of the situation, estimating that almost half of all jobs in the U.S. are at risk. Lower-paid workers are most vulnerable. CB Insights puts the number of jobs at risk of disruption by automation at 10 million. Half of those jobs – 5 million – are in the retail sectors. They predict this change will come within the next 10 years.
Most at risk according to CB Insights?
• Warehouse Workers
• Retail Salesperson
• Truck Drivers
• Construction Workers
• Nurses & Health Aides
Is your job at risk?