Posted by & filed under Automation, Future of Work.

Statistics Canada says domestic firms that invested in robots since the late 1990s have also expanded their human workforces, suggesting a less than “apocalyptic” result for workers overall.

The findings released today show that over two decades, firms that invested in automation had workforces 15 per cent larger relative to other companies in the same industry.

Overall increases were from bumps in high-skilled jobs, such as programmers, that require university degrees, and low-skilled workers with high-school diplomas or less.

Those in the middle, such as trades workers, were more likely to not be replaced once a robot arrived.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: November 3rd, 2020

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/robot-workers-statscan-1.5786528

Discussion

  1. This is a similar result that was found for companies that did outsourcing and offshoring to India and China: those that did it actually hired more workers locally. Why might this be? (The answer is that outsourcing, offshoring, and using robots locally means the company frees up capital (money) to spend on other workers that they can’t do this for).
  2. Why is it that “trade workers” get hit so hard by robots being introduced, and what should be done about this?

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