with every new industrial robot wipes out 1.6 manufacturing jobs, the firm mentioned, with the least-skilled regions being more affected.
Regions where more folks have lower skills, which tend to have weaker economies and better unemployment rates anyway, are much more vulnerable to the loss of jobs because of robots, Oxford Economics mentioned.
Moreover, employees who move out of manufacturing, tend to get new jobs in transport, construction, maintenance, and office and administration work – which in turn are vulnerable to automation, it mentioned.
On average, each additional robot installed in those lower-skilled areas could result in nearly twice as many job losses as those in higher-skilled regions in the same country, exacerbating economic inequality and political polarisation, which is growing already, Oxford Economics mentioned.
We’ve seen loads of predictions that robots are about to put everyone, from factory employees to journalists, out of a job, with white collar work suddenly vulnerable to automation.
However, this report presents a more nuanced view, stressing that the productivity benefits from automation should boost progress, meaning as many jobs are created as lost.
And while it sees the robots moving out of the factories and into service industries, it is still in manufacturing that the report says they are going to have the most influence, particularly in China the place armies of workers might be replaced by machines.
Where service jobs are under threat, they’re in industries such as transport or building reasonably than the law or journalism, and it is lower-skilled individuals who may have moved from manufacturing who’re vulnerable.
The challenge for governments is how to encourage the innovation that the robots promise while ensuring they do not cause new divides in society.