Robots are on their way to taking 20 million manufacturing jobs
- Robots will displace 20 million manufacturing jobs worldwide, according to a new report from Oxford Economics.
- The manufacturing industry is most vulnerable to automation, according to Oxford Economics. China will have 14 million industrial robots working in manufacturing by 2030.
- The Trump administration has been slow to recognize automation's impact on the manufacturing industry.
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By 2030, robots will displace 20 million manufacturing jobs worldwide.The 20 million number - which represents 8.5% of the global manufacturing workforce - comes out of a new report from economic forecast company Oxford Economics (OE). It also found that on average, every newly installed robot displaces 1.6 manufacturing workers.Advertisement
While other industries are beginning to experiment with automation, manufacturing jobs are most vulnerable in the immediate future. China leads the charge in automating jobs: By 2030, the country will have 14 million industrial robots in use. The rest of the world, meanwhile, will have just 6 million robots in use.
The report analyzed data from the International Federation of Robots, and focused on countries that account for more than 90% of industrial robot installations: EU nations, US, Japan, South Korea, China, and more. The IFR uses survey data from robot suppliers in 50 countries tracked from 1994 to 2014.
The bigger robotic pictureResearchers have been telling us about how automation is going to gobble up jobs for years:
- The World Economic Forum predicted that half of companies would reduce their full-time workforce by 2022.
- PWC estimated roughly 7 million jobs in the UK would be displaced by 2037.
- McKinsey projected 800 million people worldwide would be out of a job by 2030.
The report also has implications for manufacturing policy, as President Trump promised to bring back these jobs during his campaign. Manufacturing activity fell in the US to a two-year low in June, in part due to the ongoing trade war with China.
Still, the Trump administration has been slow to acknowledge AI's impact on the American workforce. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin once said he's "not worried at all" about robots' impact on employment."The repercussions of robotization are interconnected and complex, but the growth in robotics is inevitable," the OE report says. "These challenges must be embraced and addressed." Advertisement
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