On average, the arrival of one new industrial robot in a local labor market coincides with an employment drop of 5.6 workers.
America's workers already squeezed by forces ranging from international
competition to offshoring to new information technologies, concern is growing
about the impact of robots on jobs and wages.
Robots and Jobs: Evidence from U.S. Labor Markets Daron
Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo find that deployment of
robots reduces employment and wages, but they caution that it is difficult to
measure net labor market effects.
at least the start of the Industrial Revolution, economists and policy makers
have pondered how relentless technological advances might impact labor markets.
John Maynard Keynes warned in 1929 of coming "technological
unemployment" and Wassily Leontief predicted several decades later that
"labor will become less and less important." In recent years, a range
of studies has estimated that nearly half of all U.S. workers' jobs will be at
risk of being automated over the next two decades, and noted that this risk
extends beyond laborers to include many white-collar occupations with
substantial routine components.
researchers note that automation has several effects on the labor market. It
may displace the workers performing a particular job in a particular industry,
leading to reduced employment opportunities and wages for workers who
historically held such positions. However, other sectors and occupations may
expand to soak up labor freed from the tasks performed by machines, and it is
even possible that productivity gains due to new automation technologies may
expand employment possibilities in the industries in which they are deployed.