Robots May Displace 20 Million Manufacturing Jobs By 2030

Liberty Safe Manfacturing Facility
A robot moves a large piece of metal that is being made into a safe at the Liberty Safe Company on August 29, 2018 in Payson, Utah. Liberty Safe was invited to the White House in July to represent Utah at a Made in America manufacturing event. Liberty builds 400 safes a day and is the largest safe maker in the United States. Bloomberg News/George Frey

Robots are on track to wipe out almost a 10th of the world’s manufacturing jobs with the brunt borne by lower income areas in developed nations, Oxford Economics says.

While automation should boost the economy as a whole, it is likely to create greater inequality as employment losses are concentrated in certain industries and countries.

Manufacturing industries could loose 20mn jobs by year 2030, making the sector 8.5% smaller than ‘if robots were not remaking the market,’ according to the research firn’s report.

“In many countries, such regions have often been left behind as metropolitan centers prospered, and those dynamics have generated political polarization. This highlights the importance of taking policy action to cushion the likely impact of robotization in these vulnerable areas.”

Oxford Economics said that metropolises such as London, Tokyo, Paris or Seoul are likely to be less affected, though even some traditional manufacturing hubs could fare well.

“Regions that surround knowledge-intensive cities such as Toulouse and Grenoble in France, or Munich and Stuttgart in Germany, typically show much lower levels of vulnerability,” it said.