Robots Take Over 20 Million Jobs

Robots Take Over 20 Million Jobs

The use of robots is estimated to take over about 20 million manufacturing jobs in various parts of the world in 2030. The robots are spread across various types of jobs ranging from manufacturing production to services.

The involvement of robots in the industry is inevitable. Moreover, large industries that require automation to support the efficiency of the production process. Businesses are also expected to follow this trend as technology and artificial intelligence (AI) develop.

A recent study of research firm and consultant from the UK Oxford Economics estimates, the development of robotization in the industry has added to the concern that despite offering benefits, it has the potential to eliminate low-skill jobs and increase social and economic pressure. This condition could worsen social inequality even though it can drive global economic output.

The study added, robots have taken over millions of manufacturing jobs and are now expanding in services, helped by computer sophistication, speech recognition and learning machines.

"In lower skill areas, people who lose their jobs will double as high as higher skill areas, even in the same country," said the study.

The research comes amid debate over the rise of technology such as self-driving cars and trucks, food preparation robots, factories and automated warehouse operations and their impact on human labor.

However, according to the latest study, the wave of robotization will actually drive productivity and economic growth, creating many new jobs when compared to those that are destroyed. According to the researchers' estimates, there are around USD5 trillion in robotics profits from the global economy in 2030 with high productivity.

"We find jobs with repetitive functions that are most affected, including warehouse work which has the closest risk," the study authors said.

The study also revealed that work in a less structured environment that requires social intelligence, creativity and compassion, is likely to remain dominated by humans for the next few decades.

"Robots will increasingly play a role in various sectors, including retail, health services, hospitality, and transportation as well as construction and agriculture," the researchers said.

They warned that policymakers should not slow down the use of robotic technology. In the future the government is urged to focus on the use of robotics to help vulnerable areas to be able to prepare themselves for the next big change.

According to the Oxford report, about 1.7 million manufacturing jobs have been taken over by robots since 2000, including as many as 400,000 jobs in Europe, 260,000 jobs in the United States, and 550,000 jobs in China.

"China will have the most manufacturing automation with as many as 14 million industrial robots by 2030," the report said.

In Britain, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be replaced by robots. However, if there is a 30ncrease in the installation of robots in the world, it will create $ 5 trillion in additional global gross domestic product (GDP).

Then what about in Indonesia? Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian Employers' Association (Apindo) Shinta Widjaja Kamdani rate, the phenomenon of automation and robotization in the industry is not a sudden new phenomenon. Actually, the automation and use of robots in the industry have been going on for a long time and have gradually been adopted in various industries in Indonesia. He pointed out that in the automotive industry, iron-steel processing, ceramics, even food and beverages.

"So realistically, there is a high possibility that industries in Indonesia will continue to adopt more technology and robots to improve the efficiency and quality of industrial products so that Indonesian products remain competitive in the international market," Shinta said when contacted yesterday.

He said, precisely without the adoption of this technology it would be difficult to catch up with the lagging productivity of the domestic industry when compared to foreign industries and the target of economic growth would be difficult to achieve without increasing productivity.

But the adoption of automated and robotic technology in the industry does not necessarily mean that the manufacturing industry no longer needs unskilled or low-skilled workers.

"This also does not mean that manufacturing industries that adopt the technology do not open up a lot of employment opportunities," he said.

In fact, industries that are almost fully automatic, such as the automotive industry, still need large numbers of workers. There are also industries that cannot be fully automated, such as the footwear and garment industries.

"There are also industries that are only partially automated production such as the cigarette industry. They still employ unskilled and low-skilled workers rather than automation to produce white cigarettes because it is to maintain product authenticity," he said.

In addition, industries that adopt automated production machines will create new jobs, specifically to regulate, set up, maintain, repair and upgrade these machines according to industry needs. "So the logic that machines or robots eliminate jobs needs to be revised," he explained.

Bhima Yudisthira, an economist at the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef), believes that the use of robots in the manufacturing sector is nothing to worry about. He said, the procurement of robots would be very difficult for a number of small companies.

This is because the cost of procuring robots will be very large. But it will be different from what is done by large companies that will use robots.

"Large-scale manufacturing will easily adapt to robotics. While small and medium-sized businesses are still labor intensive. Research and investment costs for procurement of robots in Indonesia are still quite expensive. So smaller sectors still survive by recruiting human workers with consideration of lower wages than buying robots, Said bima.

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