The Association for Advancing Automation has released a white paper that deals with how robotics is fueling the next wave of productivity and job growth in the United States. Some industries are experiencing the robot revolution first hand, where industrial robots are starting to take jobs away from humans. Automation in industrial sectors is constantly improving the efficiency of several manufacturing industries The white paper calls the recent development in robotics an “integral part of manufacturing’s redemption”.
The National Association of Manufacturers says that in the United States, the manufacturing industry employs 12 million Americans, representing 9% of the country’s workforce. What the Association found was that in 2001, when industrial operations started seeing more robotics involved, employment rose. Similarly, in the years 2010 to 2014, the amount of robotics the U.S. bought skyrocketed, however, employment numbers actually rose. The concern being that more robots being sold would equate to more retrenchment, but the opposite has been true for the United States.
The Association for Advancing Automation said: “There are three important trends that must be examined to clarify how robotics is shaping the U.S. manufacturing industry: the reversal of offshoring, the use of automation for repetitive and dangerous tasks, and the domestic shift to a service economy. The industry also has an opportunity to impact future growth through new education initiatives.”
Using automation in manufacturing operations has ensured that some companies stay afloat due to the efficiency of the robots. The white paper quotes a Drew Greenblatt, a CEO and owner of Marlin Steel. He says that automation has had a positive impact on his company. He has apparently doubled his workforce and employed engineers in his company since going automated. Allowing automation to take care of the repetitive task and letting humans work on higher quality work has saved his company from bankruptcy.
Even Deloitte got in on the action of measuring how technology is apparently stealing our jobs and found similar results ; automation has created more jobs than it has destroyed. The researchers studied every level of automation that stretched as far back as 1871.
“The dominant trend is of contracting employment in agriculture and manufacturing being more than offset by rapid growth in the caring, creative, technology and business service sectors. Machines will take on more repetitive and laborious tasks, but seem no closer to eliminating the need for human labour than at any time in the last 150 years,” the researchers said.
The Association for Advancing Automation concluded the current problem with education as a result of automation. They wrote: “The majority of the careers that the skilled labor force has been seeking in recent years are service-related, which suggests a harsh reality: Manufacturing is no longer one of the nation’s most coveted career paths for those entering the workforce.”
And that is their warning to students. Their warning is that if people want to work in the service-related fields they will find that automation and robotics are slowly taking over those industries and are not beneficial to try and get into anymore. Rather a STEM-focused career path that teaches you skills that an automated process won’t be able to replace.
Source: Robotics Tomorrow