56 percent of Americans believe that automation destroys more jobs than it creates, according to a new study by Ipsos Public Affairs and the Center for Business Analytics at the University of Virginia. About one-third of respondents believe they are at risk of losing their job to automation. Most respondents-63 percent-agree that automation has made life easier. Only 43 percent believe that automation has more benefits than drawbacks. The survey helps corroborate recent polling by Pew Research, which published its own report on the public’s views of automation earlier this month. Together, the two reports paint a picture of a population skeptical about the future of automation even as it becomes more comfortable with existing technology. Automation is a broad concept that can include everything from spell-checking software to physical robots. Economists are divided on automation’s impact on employment. Mishel and Bivens say there’s no evidence that automation is responsible for wage stagnation or inequality or that automation reduces overall employment, even if it affects particular sectors. “I’m not sure we should be worrying about the impact of technology 20 years from now on jobs as the crisis to focus on, as opposed to the crisis we are living through, which is wage stagnation, which has nothing to do with automation,” Mishel says. Most people in both studies believe that their own jobs are safe from automation, but 30 percent of respondents in the Pew study worry that their job will be done by machines sometime in their lifetime, which hews close to Ipsos’s finding that one-third of respondents worry that they’ll eventually lose their job to automation. One key finding: Americans want the government to pay attention to the potential of widespread economic disruption due to automation. The idea of limiting the use of workplace automation to “Dangerous or unhealthy” jobs had bipartisan appeal and is supported by 85 percent of respondents overall. Mishel, who co-authored the Economic Policy Institute report downplaying the risks of automation, thinks the government should focus on ensuring there are good jobs for displaced workers, rather than trying to slow the spread of technology. “I don’t think we’re going to see high unemployment due to technology, but I do think we’ll see a lot of jobs lost due to automation,” he says.
Tax Bill Will Lead to More Automation, Executives Boast to Wall Street Investors
Tax reform is being sold as an overhaul designed to create jobs. It’s in the name, even: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Business executives say the bill will drive them to invest in automation, the type that will allow them to cut jobs in the future. The issue at hand is a provision of the bill that allows full and immediate depreciation of capital spending. While the provision is expected to provide substantial benefit to the commercial real estate and oil industry, the provision could also spur a wave of investment in automation in the manufacturing industry. Firms that supply automated machines and other assembly line robots, including Rockwell Automation Inc. and Emerson Electric Co., have in recent weeks celebrated the tax reform provision, expecting increased revenue as clients order more products. “I would expect there to be an acceleration of capital investment in certain categories if the tax plan is passed with the provisions you just mentioned,” said Stroup. “There’s already a number of factors why people are investing in automation as an example. This would just be another one where they could expense the investment and get the added benefit of the tax shield, which is substantial,” he added. David Farr, the chief executive of the company, said he expects increased orders from his company’s automation department if the tax bill passes with beneficial provisions on capital expenditures. Rick Schreiber, head of BDO USA, an accounting and consulting company, and a board member for the National Association of Manufacturers, explained recently how tax reform will shape the future of manufacturing. Many others on Wall Street are expecting similar moves. Eric Marshall, a portfolio manager with Hodges Capital, told Fox Business that one of the first moves by corporate executives will be to invest in technology and automation at the expense of hiring new workers. Stocks for companies that specialize in selling automation systems and other assembly-line technology have soared in response to rising prospects for the tax bill. President Donald Trump has sold his tax reform effort as a job plan. “Our plan can be simplified in three simple words: jobs, jobs, jobs,” the president said while rallying support for the legislation at the White House.
Automation Could Displace 800 Million Workers Worldwide By 2030, Study Says
Automation Could Displace 800 Million Workers Worldwide By 2030, Study Says : All Tech Considered But in the long term, new technology could create more jobs than it eliminates, a new report says. A coming wave of job automation could force between 400 million and 800 million people worldwide out of a job in the next 13 years, according to a new study. A report released this week from the research arm of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company forecasts scenarios in which 3 percent to 14 percent of workers around the world – in 75 million to 375 million jobs – will have to acquire new skills and switch occupations by 2030. The impact will vary between countries, depending on their wealth and types of jobs that currently exist in each. In 60 percent of jobs worldwide, “At least one-third of the constituent activities could be automated,” McKinsey says, which would mean a big change in what people do day-to-day. McKinsey looked at 46 countries and more than 800 different jobs in its research. Jobs that involve predictable, repetitive tasks are more easily automated, “Such as operating machinery and preparing fast food,” and data processing, like paralegal work and accounting. McKinsey estimates less than 5 percent of jobs can be fully automated. Jobs that pay “Relatively lower wages” and aren’t as predictable are less likely to face full automation, because businesses don’t have as much incentive to spend on the technology. This applies to jobs like gardening, plumbing and child care, according to the authors. In the short term, automation and new technology could mean “Significant” displacement of workers, the report says. The authors argue that in the long term as technology has changed, “It creates a multitude of new jobs, more than offsetting” the number of those lost. “But their spending patterns also shift, creating more jobs in areas such as consumer durables, leisure activities, financial and telecommunication services, housing, health care, and education.” Tech jobs will be needed as technology advances, like “Computer scientists, engineers and IT administrators,” who could see job growth as companies spend more in this area, the report says. Jobs gained “Could more than offset the jobs lost to automation,” the researchers say.