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Robots could displace 20 million manufacturing jobs by 2030



Machines are expected to displace about 20 million manufacturing jobs across the world today, according to a report released Wednesday by Oxford Economics, a global forecasting and quantitative analysis firm.

That means about 8.5% of the global Manufacturing workforce could be displaced by robots.

The use of robots is on the rise: every new robot that is installed displaces 1.6 Manufacturing workers on average, according to the Oxford Economics model.

Automation is not a new trend in manufacturing, of course. The automotive industry, for example, uses 43% of the robots in the world in 2016.

But robots are becoming cheaper than many human workers, in part because of the falling costs of machines. The average unit price per robot has dropped 1

1% between 2011 and 2016, according to Oxford Economics. And they are increasingly capable of more sophisticated processes and varied contexts.

China presents a big opportunity for growth in automation. That country already accounts for a fifth of the world's industrial robots. Beijing is investing in robots to position itself as the global manufacturing leader, Oxford Economics said. By 2030, some 14 million robots could be working in China, "dwarfing" the rest of the world, according to Oxford.

The effect on economic output could be tremendous. Oxford Economics estimates that boosting robot installations to 30% above the current growth forecast by 2030 would lead to a 5.3% increase in global GDP, or $ 4.9 trillion. That's more than the projected size of Germany's GDP for that year.

So what's not to love? Robots wants boost productivity and economic growth, as well as industry that does not even exist yet. But

How automation could lead to inequality

One potential downside to the robot revolution: Automation could increase income inequality.

"This great displacement will not be evenly distributed around the world, or in countries, "according to the report. "Our research shows that the negative effects of robotization are disproportionately felt in the lower-income regions compared with higher-income regions of the same country."

The workers who drive knowledge and innovation within the manufacturing industry tend to be concentrated in larger cities, and those skills are harder to automate. That's why urban areas want to deal with the increased automation,

On the whole, the increased use of automation will probably create new jobs at a pace permanent job destruction, according to the Oxford study. That said, the poorer regions are probably not going to pay much for this job.

"Automation wants to continue regional polarization in many of the world's advanced economies, unevenly distributing the benefits and costs across the population," the report said.

 Robots find a new job: Skyscraper window washers

For this they mean have to think about how to increase their efficiency. Some have already worked into their political platforms. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is currently working for the Democratic nomination for president, recently said he was worried about what artificial intelligence and robotics said.

"We need to have a long The millions of workers are not out of the office because of robotics, "he said during a CNN town hall in February.

In the United States, Oregon, Louisiana, Texas, Indiana and North Carolina are the most vulnerable states, according to Oxford Economics. That's because those states are reliant on manufacturing jobs that could disappear because of robots.

In Oregon, for example, "high dependence on manufacturing … and the state's exposure to globally competitive sectors, means its workers are vulnerable to rapid technological progress," according to the Oxford study.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Hawaii, DC, Nevada, FL and Vermont wants to see the least impact from increased robotization. Manufacturing plays a smaller role in those places.


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