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21 Automation And Job Loss Statistics

21 Automation And Job Loss Statistics

Automation is the future of business. Or at least that is what everybody keeps saying. There are now more than 4 million industry robots completing jobs that were traditionally completed by humans, so there really is no denying that automation is transforming the way that businesses operate. 

There are all sorts of good things that come from automation in business. There is no denying that automation makes companies more efficient, allowing staff to be redeployed to areas of the business where automation cannot be helpful.

However, not everything about automation is good. We’ll discuss this by looking at 21 automation and job loss statistics.

Ever since automation was first introduced to business, there have been worries about this automation taking jobs away from people. If machines can do everything faster than humans, and are more efficient, then it is understandable that many people fear that they will be replaced by automation in the near future. 

In this guide, we’re taking a look at 21 shocking automation and job loss statistics. These statistics can be a real eye opener. So if you want to find out more about the connection between automation and job loss, keep on reading!

1. Manufacturing Is One Of The Biggest Focus Areas For Automation

Across multiple different industries, automation is being introduced as a way to speed up processes and make companies more efficient.

In any company, if you do a job that is incredibly repetitive, and you have ever had the thought “this could be done by a robot”, then there is a good chance that automation will be injected into your role. This is why it makes sense that manufacturing is one of the biggest focus areas for automation.

Studies by Business Insider, have shown that the number of manufacturing roles that had been stagnant between 1970 and 2000, has started to decline since then. From the stagnant numbers of the past, the number of manufacturing roles has declined 3% since 1980, despite the fact that manufacturing production has increased significantly. 

With production increasing by 20% in the same amount of time that manufacturing roles have declined by 3%, there is only one clear explanation for this. That explanation is automation. Automation is totally transforming the manufacturing industry, and it is likely that this will continue to happen into the future. 

2. Food Preparation, Cleaning, And Construction Are Most At Risk

A study by the Economist has looked into the areas of business that are most at risk when it comes to job loss linked to automation. This study by the Economist found that food preparation is the most at risk with a risk of more than 60% when it comes to automation in this industry. But food preparation isn’t the only industry at risk. 

As well as food prep, the Economist study found that some of the most at risk industries also included construction, cleaning, driving, and lots more. The study also found that automation isn’t only a threat for more manual jobs (such as manufacturing), but also for other industries, including customer service, sales, and even teaching. 

While automation will never be able to fully replace people in roles in these industries, it can reduce the amount of work available for people, and this can lead to job loss. 

3. Job Loss In Relation To Automation Is Likely To Increase In The Future

Automation has come a long way since it was first invented, and it is likely that it will keep on improving going into the future. AI and automation is something that causes a lot of discomfort among many people, simply because of the potential of it taking jobs away from people. 

Statistics by Forbes suggest that individuals are right to be uncertain and uncomfortable about the use of automation in business. One study by Forbes has suggested that by 2030, automation could eliminate upwards of 73 million jobs in the USA. This means that a huge chunk of employees could be facing unemployment in the next 8 years. 

The information by Forbes has suggested that these huge job loss statistics could be offset by the increase in productivity, economic growth and other factors associated with automation. However, this doesn’t really provide much reassurance for the employees facing redundancy due to automation in their job roles. 

4. Job Loss Due To Automation Will Increase By 2025

If the statistics about job loss and automation by 2030 scare you, then you’re in for a fright with this next stat. Research by the World Economic Forum has found that the effects of automation will lead to a huge amount of job loss by 2025. 

This study found that globally, around 85 million jobs in medium-sized to large companies will be lost due to automation. Smart machines are now being utilized across the world in a lot of large companies, and even smaller companies have started to introduce automation tools to improve efficiency in areas of their business. 

While automation can be really promising and exciting for business owners, for employees, it can be really scary. These statistics really highlight why. 

5. Automation Is Incredibly Popular In China

Multiple studies by BBC News have found that automation, and more specifically the use of robots in these automation roles, has become incredibly popular in China. Back in 2016, the BBC published a study regarding Apple supplier Foxconn replacing 60,000 of their factory workers with robots.

It seems that the number of Chinese companies introducing robots into roles traditionally filled by humans has only increased since then. 

As well as in manufacturing environments, the BBC has also published a series of studies where employees have been replaced by robots in restaurants, and also in driving jobs too. When it comes to automation, it really seems that China is at the forefront of this. 

While the thought of robots serving you food might seem a little far fetched right now, take a look at the automation and job loss statistics we’ve just shown you. In very little time, this strange idea could soon become our reality. 

6. Robots Are Often Used In Medical Environments

One industry in which the use of automated robots is becoming increasingly popular is in the medical industry. Statistics by ReportLinker have found that in the coming years the value of the medical robot industry is set to increase significantly. 

These statistics show that the medical robot industry is set to exceed a value of $12.7 billion by 2025. Even though the value of this market was only $5.9 billion in 2020. So, this really highlights just how rapidly this industry is growing and developing. 

7. Not All American Workers Are Worried About Automation

One study, published by CNBC, has found that despite the statistics we have already discussed, not that many American workers are actually worried about losing their jobs to automation. 

This study found that just over a quarter of all workers asked said that they were worried about their job being eliminated through the use of automation within the next 5 years.

With just 27% of employees actively worrying about this, it suggests that the majority of American workers aren’t actually worried about losing their jobs to automation. 

8. Automation Isn’t Just The Future For America

We’ve spoken a lot about automation in the USA so far, but it is important to note that automation isn’t just the future for America, it seems to be the future across the entire world. 

One study published in Computer Weekly found that automation is the future of business in Europe too! This study found that around 12 million jobs in Europe will be automated by 2040. While this is significantly lower than the amount set to be automated in the USA, it is still a large chunk of employees losing their jobs to automation. 

9. Artificial Intelligence Will Create Jobs

A lot of these statistics are quite doom and gloom, but artificial intelligence is set to create a lot of jobs. Studies have found that while automating might be causing job losses in some industries, artificial intelligence is actually creating jobs. 

A study by the World Economic Forum found that artificial intelligence was on track to create around 58 million jobs by 2022. It seems that this number is only going to increase in the coming years. 

10. Automation Is Attractive To Some Employees

Some studies have suggested that automation isn’t actually feared by all employees. In fact, there are a fairly large number of employees who view automation as a good thing.

Statistics published by Fortunely have shown that around 70% of workers asked believed that automation will offer them an opportunity to qualify for more skilled work. 

It is easy to see automation as a bad thing, but the entire purpose of automation is to pick up repetitive tasks and make life easier for workers. So if your employer is thinking of introducing automation this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it could make life a lot easier for you at work. 

11. Those With Low Level Jobs Are Most At Risk

It seems that when automation is introduced into companies, and this results in job losses, that those with low level jobs will be most at risk of losing their positions. 

Statistics published by PwC suggest that more than 40% of employees with low level education will suffer displacement as a result of automation in their workplace. In contrast, just 10% of workers with a high level of education will receive the same amount of displacement in their position. 

There are lots of things that may contribute to this statistic, including the fact that those with a low level of employment are more likely to go into jobs in the industries that we mentioned earlier. But regardless of this, this is a striking statistic and really reflects how education can impact job security. 

Quick Fire Statistics

12. Some Countries Are Retraining Workers

An article published by BBC News showed that in the UK, employees who were due to lose their jobs due to automation were being restrained as part of a new government scheme.

This scheme ensured that no workers would actually lose their jobs, instead they would be retrained and redeployed to other areas of the company. So automation doesn’t necessarily mean that jobs will be lost. 

13. There Are An Increasing Number Of Robots In US Factories

The International Federation of Robotics has reported a record high for robots being used in US factories. The report found that there are now more than 310,000 robots being used in factories across the country. 

14. Automation Is Good For Risky Environments

A study by PEW Research found that 85% of humans in the USA approve of the use of automation in jobs that pose a risk to humans. So if automation is used in an unsafe or dangerous environment to replace the need for humans, it is a good thing. 

15. Jobs Have Already Been Lost To Automation

It has been reported that since the year 2000, more than 260,000 jobs have already been lost due to the use of automation. So automation isn’t a new thing, it has been around for years. 

16. Automation Could Raise GDP In The USA

Studies have shown that automation has the potential to raise GDP in the USA by 5% within the next 5 years. So it is clear to see why so many people are pro-automation, despite its potential connection with job loss. 

17. The Automotive Industry Likes Automation

Automation in the form of robots is incredibly popular in the automotive industry. The IFR has found that in 2021, the use of robots in the automotive industry hit a new high with 1,287 robot units installed per 10,000 employees. 

18. Automation Can’t Replace All Skills

Automation cannot complete all the jobs that humans do, and CNBC has found that automation cannot replace some of the skills that humans have. Creativity, emotional intelligence and STEM proficiency are things that automation simply cannot replicate, so if you work in any of these areas, your job is a little more secure. 

19. Your Profession Can Make You More Vulnerable To Automation

Some professions are more at risk to automation than others. If you work in delivery, hospitality, retail, pharmacy, or driving, you are more at risk according to Cheapism.

20. Your Profession Can Also Make You Safe From Automation

On the flip side, your job can also make you safer from automation. There are some jobs where automation simply cannot help, and if you are lucky enough to work in one of these professions then your position is pretty secure.

According to The Sunday Times some of the most secure positions include audiologists, occupational therapists, and oral and maxillofacial surgeons. 

21. Women Are More At Risk From Automation

Finally, research by the Office for National Statistics in the UK has found that women are more at risk of losing their jobs to automation than men. The study found that 70.2% of the roles that are at a high risk of automation are currently held by women. There are lots of factors that could contribute to this, but it really is a striking statistic. 

Automation And Job Loss Statistics – Summary

In short, in this guide, we have taken a look at 21 of the most shocking automation and job loss statistics. These statistics can be a real eye opener at what a difference automation can make to the working environment, and how it could cause many people to lose their jobs. 

But these statistics also highlight how automation can be used to benefit employees too, so it is clear that there is a fine line between automation taking jobs away from employees and helping employees. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Automation Really Cause Unemployment?

It is clear that automation can contribute to unemployment statistics. While automation is primarily used to redeploy employees to other areas of the business where they are needed, in some cases it can remove the need for workers entirely. So it is understandable that a lot of people are worried about automation causing them to lose their jobs. 

How Does AI Cause Job Loss?

AI and automation is often linked with job loss. Automation can cause people to lose their jobs, but AI is actually linked more with creating jobs rather than losing jobs.

While automation can make some jobs redundant, AI can create jobs due to the people who will be needed to manage the AI. So not all automation is necessarily linked with job loss, some is linked with creating jobs too. 

What Jobs Are Most At Risk Due To Automation?

The job positions that are most vulnerable to automation are positions that include a lot of repetitive tasks. Automation can easily complete repetitive tasks, and this is why industries such as manufacturing and automotive are the first hit by automation.

However, automation can be introduced into a lot of different industries, and this has been shown in this guide.