What about the “good jobs” that economists believe will come from increased automation in areas like healthcare and education?
These are the very jobs that we have not yet created, which will not exist as the economy becomes more automated. And we may see these jobs move off the job list and out of this country.
Will that be good for anyone?
According to a recent Economic Policy Institute study, robots’ economic impact on the national average wage is less than 2 percent. And that is the result of how robots will be used.
“Over 70 percent of the economic activity that robots and computers will create will go to robots and computers rather than workers,” the authors write. So the impact of job losses will be minimal, particularly when those robots are being used only in places that are highly automated.
The report said that robots may not necessarily destroy jobs, but they may create them. As new machines and software become commonplace rather than being used on assembly lines, jobs that didn’t exist will disappear:
Robots and other computer-assisted technologies increase the productive capacity, reduce unemployment, and lower the cost of doing business in most industries. Yet, robots are not only replacing the human labor of some jobs, but they may also replace the work that some jobs used to hold.
When people move from manufacturing to service industries or occupations at a faster rate, wages in industries that don’t use robots will increase faster than wages in the areas that do. This is because workers with a higher education and training in those areas are in greater demand for them, and will thus be more desirable for employers. Conversely, workers whose lower education level and education are necessary for a job with which they have more competition, will require fewer qualifications to get that job.
In terms of how much more robots can help than human workers will likely be able to help, a 2013 study concluded that robots have positive benefits for jobs in the following areas:
Financial services and health care
Food processing and distribution
Professional, scientific, and technical services
And for the long-term, according to the study:
The effect of robots on society is a mixed one. Economists have argued for more automation, as it allows industries to grow, and is necessary to get more of the value added of automation produced and stored, and to have more efficient systems
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