The Long-Term Jobs Killer Is Not China. It’s Automation.
Globalization is clearly responsible for some of the job losses, particularly trade with China during the 2000s, which led to the rapid loss of 2 million to 2.4 million net jobs, according to research by economists including Daron Acemoglu and David Autor of M.I.T.People who work in parts of the country most affected by imports generally have greater unemployment and reduced income for the rest of their lives, Mr. Autor found in a paper published in January. Still, over time, automation has had a far bigger effect than globalization, and would have eventually eliminated those jobs anyway, he said in an interview. When Greg Hayes, the chief executive of United Technologies, agreed to invest $16 million in one of its Carrier factories as part of a Trump deal to keep some jobs in Indiana instead of moving them to Mexico, he said the money would go toward automation. Its effect remained strong even after controlling for management practices; job losses in the Midwest; international trade; and unionization rates, found the authors of the study, Allan Collard-Wexler of Duke and Jan De Loecker of Princeton. Another analysis, from Ball State University, attributed roughly 13 percent of manufacturing job losses to trade and the rest to enhanced productivity because of automation. Over time, automation has generally had a happy ending: As it has displaced jobs, it has created new ones. Even as the economy has improved, jobs and wages for a large segment of workers – particularly men without college degrees doing manual labor – have not recovered. “I used to have a really good job, and I liked the people I worked with – until it got overtaken by a machine, and then I was let go,” he said. Dennis Kriebel’s last job was as a supervisor at an aluminum extrusion factory, where he had spent a decade punching out parts for cars and tractors. Mr. Kriebel has barely been scraping by doing odd jobs. Many of the new jobs at factories require technical skills, but he doesn’t own a computer and doesn’t want to. Labor economists say there are ways to ease the transition for workers whose jobs have been displaced by robots. They include retraining programs, stronger unions, more public-sector jobs, a higher minimum wage, a bigger earned-income tax credit and, for the next generation of workers, more college degrees. The White House on Tuesday released a report on automation and the economy that called for better education from early childhood through adult job transitions and for updating the social safety net with tools like wage insurance. Ms. Johnson in Tennessee said both her favorite and highest-paying job, at $8.65 an hour, was at an animal shelter, caring for puppies.
In other words, Automation or automatic control, is the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery, processes in factories, boilers and heat treating ovens, switching on telephone networks, steering and stabilization of ships, aircraft and other applications and vehicles with minimal or reduced human intervention, with some processes have been completely automated. Fundamentally, there are two types of control loop; open loop control, and closed loop control. In closed loop control, the control action from the controller is dependent on the process output. The definition of a closed loop control system according to the British Standard Institution is ‘a control system possessing monitoring feedback, the deviation signal formed as a result of this feedback being used to control the action of a final control element in such a way as to tend to reduce the deviation to zero. A Feedback Control System is a system which tends to maintain a prescribed relationship of one system variable to another by comparing functions of these variables and using the difference as a means of control. The advanced type of automation that revolutionized manufacturing, aircraft, communications and other industries, is feedback control, which is usually continuous and involves taking measurements using a sensor and making calculated adjustments to keep the measured variable within a set range. The theoretical basis of closed loop automation is control theory. One of the simplest types of control is on-off control. An elevator control system is an example of sequence control. A proportional-integral-derivative controller is a control loop feedback mechanism widely used in industrial control systems. Using relays for control purposes allowed event-driven control, where actions could be triggered out of sequence, in response to external events. Process control computers can process data from a network of PLCs, instruments and controllers in order to implement typical control of many individual variables or, in some cases, to implement complex control algorithms using multiple inputs and mathematical manipulations. In the 1940s and 1950s, German mathematician Irmgard Flugge-Lotz developed the theory of discontinuous automatic controls, which found military applications during the Second World War to fire control systems and aircraft navigation systems. Full automation commonly defined as requiring no control or very limited control by the driver; such automation would be accomplished through a combination of sensor, computer, and communications systems in vehicles and along the roadway. Industrial automation deals primarily with the automation of manufacturing, quality control and material handling processes.