It’s the stuff science fiction movies are made of…that robots will replace us all.
A new study into that exact question suggests that may be true but it also may be false. It’s one of those, it depends stories.
StatsCan took an in-depth look at companies that adopted robotic mechanization over a 20-year period that ended a couple years ago. What it discovered is that the introduction of robots into a workplace might actually increase the number of some jobs, not reduce them. But the sticky point is the type of jobs.
Those in higher skilled positions – requiring a university degree – and lower skilled jobs – those requiring high school – actually increased. It was the ones in the middle – trade certification type slots – that were reduced. Generally this included managers as machines don’t need to be supervised in doing repetitive tasks.
The win for businesses, it turns out, is in higher quality goods and services not lower payroll costs. Workers saw the nature of their jobs change. They were required to be more flexible, make more decisions and were in line for better or more incentive programs.