Robots are entering the workforce, in increasing numbers. They perform some of the same tasks that you were previously trained to do. They don’t look like you, or talk like you, and they don’t need to take breaks. And perhaps most importantly, they don’t get paychecks. And while they do cost money to buy, once they’re operating, their cost per hour is less than the average wage of a human being.

Where does that leave you?

Robots have to be evaluated before they’re purchased. And once they’re purchased, they have to be installed, programmed, and maintained. If the factory where you work is moving in that direction, you need to be proactive in order to keep your job. You need to acquire the skills required to evaluate, install, program, and maintain robots. Having those advanced skills means that you can not only keep your job, but you’re also probably going to earn more, too.

Where do most of the danger lie?

There’s a great deal of speculation regarding how many jobs will be lost to our robot frenemies. What we do know for sure is that some of us will feel more pain than others. A few recent articles and studies have tried to shed some light on where it going to hurt the most, and whom.

All of the authors agree that men, minorities, and younger workers will suffer the most. And they also agree that the so-called “rust belt,” those regions that have experienced the highest rates of industrial, economic, and population decline, as well as the related urban decay.

The uneven distribution of job losses will further exacerbate the social inequalities that already exist.

However, most of the reports indicate that despite a potential for a loss of as many one in four jobs to automation, “history suggests that new technology will also create new jobs.”1

Interestingly enough, in terms of economic sector, it’s not manufacturing or distribution that is predicted to take the biggest hit, it’s food preparation and service.2 Having said that, when we speak of future predictions, we’re not taking into account the percentage of jobs that robots have already replaced.

As a company that implements ERP software systems for manufacturers and distributors, Strategic Systems Group (SSG) is your go-to partner for manufacturing updates and information. Call us at 310.539.4645 or email us at info@ssgnet.com. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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And if you’re worried about your job, here are a few articles and other sources worth reading:

1“Robots Will Take Jobs from Men, the Young, and Minorities,” WIRED Magazine, Tim Simonite, January 2019 https://www.wired.com/story/robots-will-take-jobs-from-men-young-minorities/

2“The robot revolution will be worse for men,” Rani Molla, Recode, January 2019 https://www.recode.net/2019/1/28/18185061/robot-automation-jobs-employment-revolution-worse-men-brookings

“Automation and Artificial Intelligence: How machines are affecting people and places.” Mark Muro, Robert Maxim, and Jacob Whiton, January 2019 https://www.brookings.edu/research/automation-and-artificial-intelligence-how-machines-affect-people-and-places/

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, Martin Ford, 2016 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PWX7RPG/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1