The job landscape of the United States is very competitive. The biggest challenge for local workers before was the international competition. Companies prefer offshore resources because they are cheaper than the local ones. The American workers were already squeezed by the offshore employees
And now there is another competition! The concern about industrial robots impacting wages and jobs is increasing by the day. The concern is even higher in regions with more technological advancement and industries, which can utilize more robotic workers. Having a robotic workforce has saved companies expenses concerning talent acquisition strategies, training employees, health insurance, and paying compensation.
There’s no doubt that the industrial revolution has ushered us into a new age of advancement. Over the past decades, humans have been dreaming about machines and robots doing incredible things in various sectors. Today, we are witnessing it in reality. Robotic workers and machines replacing humans are saving us time and effort. Since robots are machines, they can work tirelessly. Compared to humans, they can do more work and wouldn’t require any wages. However, machines and robots will need a one-time investment. And this investment is a lot! Still, companies are willing to splurge on machines.
Ever since the industrial revolution, robots replacing humans is a perpetual concern. In a world that just went through a massive pandemic and going towards the brink of recession, the rise of automation is risking jobs for humans.
A few years ago, the hype to witness a futuristic world was overwhelming. Nobody was much concerned about its effects on wages and employment. But ever since machines have begun taking over the jobs, which humans were supposed to do, we are now understanding and facing the true meaning of the displacement effect.
However, there is always a clear divide between sectors, which can deploy more technology and use more machines and those which cannot.
So, the question of productivity comparison arises. There’s no doubt that technology is more productive. It is easier to complete tasks with robots and machines. Furthermore, there are no human problems such as the burdens of overtime, burnout, and so on.
Therefore, when it comes to productivity and effectiveness, robots and machines are better. But since we are discussing the effects on the job market, machines are hogging the roles, which humans performed previously. Moreover, some machines are not completely independent. Humans have to operate them. So, somehow, humans are involved and working. However, robots are completely independent. And that means no human involvement and utmost productivity. That is a threat to human workers!
According to an estimate, robot intensity or the measure of robots usage is on a constant rise. In the United States, robot exposure is increasing and over 250 metropolitan areas have witnessed growth in the use of robots. Since 2009, there has been a sharp growth in robotics.
Policymakers, experts, and economists have pondered over the impact of ever-growing technological advancement on the labor market. Decades ago, they predicted how labor will lose its importance. Today, experts have conducted a range of studies about how more than half of the jobs in the country are at the risk of being automated. And they are expecting it to happen within the next two decades!
So much so that this machine revolution is not going to just affect the laborers, but it is also going to affect white-collar occupations. Only people working in places like lawyer’s offices, mortgage staffing agencies, and similar capacities will be able to save their jobs. Because there’s nothing for the robots to do there.
From the technological point of view, this is good news. But for the world that has recently survived a pandemic like COVID-19 and many people have lost jobs and suffered pay cuts, this is definitely not good news.
On the bright side, another opinion is that due to increased automation, robots and machines will perform a particular kind of job in various sectors. This productivity gain will free laborers for others sorts of jobs in various sectors.
To conclude, researchers are focusing more on adopting a particular type of automation technology. Furthermore, they are also trying to discourage investing in automated machinery that services a single purpose. They are working on more dynamic, multi-purpose, and reprogrammable robots. Moreover, companies are trying to strike the right balance between laborers and robotic workers. The way to a sustainable economy is to ensure employment opportunities for people while excelling in technology. That’s the right approach!