Americans who worry about robots taking their jobs are just “fearful ones“Who has watched too many movies already?
But new research suggests the rise of robots may not be as beneficial to workers as some request. According to economists, automation can have a positive effect on economic growth and productivity, but workers may not reap the rewards.
Economics professors Osea Giuntella of the University of Pittsburgh, Yi Lu of Tsinghua University and Tianyi Wang of the University of Toronto wrote: “Exposure to robots has a negative impact on employment, leaving some workers to leaving the labor force and increasing the unemployment rate”. at the National Bureau of Economic Research paper released earlier this month.
Economists examined the impact of industrial robots on the Chinese labor market using data from more than 15,000 families and found that the country struggled to “adjust” to changes drastic change brought about by the robot.
They write: “Exposure to robots has resulted in declines in workforce participation rates (-1%), employment (-7.5%) and hourly wages (-9%) of workers. Chinese labor. “At the same time, among those who continued to work, exposure to robots increased working hours by 14%.”
China has relied on robotics and work automation for more than a decadeespecially in industrial field. The county has more industrial robots than anywhere else, and this year alone, it surpassed the United States in the number of industrial robots per capita, according to the report. International Federation of Robots.
But for Chinese workers, the rise of robots has not always been beneficial. Take the example of Apple’s main iPhone supplier, Foxconn, which has replaced more than 400,000 human jobs between 2012 and 2016 with robots in the push for automation.
Economists say the evidence for the short-term woes of the labor market caused by robots in China is clear—and argue that it is particularly bad news for developing economies. develop.
The undue burden of the developing world
Workers in developing countries are likely to feel the brunt of the rise of robotics and automation in the near term, economists explain.
Many emerging market economies rely heavily on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, where automation and robotics are more likely to replace workers. And with a higher proportion of emerging-market workers with only a high school education or below, it will take time for many to acquire the skills they need to benefit from the new robotics, intelligence-driven jobs. Artificial intelligence and automation bring.
The impact of robotics in emerging markets on jobs, growth and inequality could be profound, the economists wrote. “Without creating jobs, automation, digitization and labor-saving technologies can fuel inequality.”
They go on to argue that developing countries could face a decision between “increasing productivity and the possibility of greater economic inequality and social instability” if they choose to continue automating their processes. robot work.
Ultimately, they say there’s still a lot of research to see if long-term productivity improvements from robotics and automation will “translate into job growth” someday, but for now, workers are will likely continue to lose jobs because of these new technologies.
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