Robots to take over jobs of 20 million humans by next decade

Economic consultancy firm Oxford Economics revealed that traditional, industrial-based, laborers from rural areas are the sector that will be most affected by automation.

The firm further said that 10% of the world’s manufacturing jobs will be replaced by robots, and the low-wage earners in developed nations will experience the hardest blow.

While employing robots is supposed to boost overall economic growth, it actually poses a threat to employment as there are very specific trade sectors and countries that will experience losses. Oxford Economics estimates that affected industries could cut 20 million jobs by 2030.

In the US, the state of Oregon where most traditional, labor-intensive and industry-based workers reside, is most likely to suffer from automation. Meanwhile, in the UK, it’s the Cumbrian county that will be seriously hit.

In a report, Oxford Economics stated that in the course of development of many countries’ metropolitan cities, some regions have been left behind, and this has led to political division. Oxford recommends that policies should be made to moderate the possible consequences in the hard-hit areas.

The report likewise emphasizes how this change in the labor market is posing new challenges as an increasing number of tasks are becoming automated. According to the report, workers who were displaced over the past two decades due to automation shifted to industries that are unfortunately still the most susceptible to the outcomes of labor automation in the coming years.

The IMF and OECD also expressed their concern over the said structural shift, noting that the employment inequality caused by automation is partly due to the geographical clustering of certain industries. For instance, Western Slovakia will be worse hit with the effects of automation than Oslo.

Some metropolitan cities including London, Paris, Tokyo, and Seoul are unlikely to feel the effects of automation, and Oxford Economics says that some of these countries’ traditional manufacturing companies may even cope well.