Written By: Carissa Gurgul
In 2013, it was predicted that nearly half of jobs would be replaced by automation in future decades. However, the current record-low unemployment rate has contrasted this prediction, with only 20% of jobs now being predicted to be threatened by automation. Studies also show many other countries being more greatly affected by automation in the workforce than the United States. While some jobs can be replaced by automation, many technological advancements actually require, and, therefore, create, new job positions that would not have been necessary otherwise. There are several benefits to technological advancements within the workforce, including lower business costs that can actually allow companies to lower prices of their products, which generates higher rates in sales. In addition, lower product prices allow consumers the opportunity to spend money on other things, further expanding a new need for employment. Similarly, if companies can lower prices due to a decrease in labor costs, they will likely sell more product, in turn, needing more labor to create the product.
While 20% is significantly lower than just five years ago, it is still important to note the industries that would be most affected. Printers, financial clerks, food processing workers, manufacturing workers, sales reps, mechanics and several construction occupations are among the occupations that are not predicted to see a counterbalance in profit and employment as a result of automation replacing the tasks of employees. These replacements will mean millions of people being out jobs, and needing to be retrained for new positions. In an age of growing technology, it is suggested to avoid choosing such career paths. On the other hand, the occupations least likely to be affected by automation are teachers, engineers, counselors, entertainers and performers, scientists, architects, health professionals, and technicians, as they require face-to-face interactions or a high level of cognition unable to be replaced by automation.


Source:
Walden, Michael. “Will Automation Help or Hurt the Job Market?” The Wilson Times, 16 Sept. 2018, https://www.wilsontimes.com/stories/will-automation-help-or-hurt-the-job-market,142333.