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Robots could take over 20 million jobs by 2030

A new study from Oxford Economics have predicted some daunting figures for future automation and how many jobs robots could take from us.

Oxford Economics claimed that by 2030, robots could take over 20 million manufacturing jobs around the world. In China alone, there could be 14 million robots put to work in the next 11 years.

The economists from Oxford analysed the long-term trends around the uptake of automation int he workplace, they noted that the number of robots in use worldwide incased threefold over the past two decades to 2.25 million.

While I think the majority of us accept that robots and automation will be taking a whole lot of our jobs, the researchers have noted that potential drawbacks that are expected to arise from the increase of


“As a result of robotization, tens of millions of jobs will be lost, especially in poorer local economies that rely on lower-skilled workers. This will therefore translate to an increase in income inequality,” 

However, the researches have noted that if robot installations were boosted to 30% more than the baseline forecast by 2030, researches estimated it would lead to a 5.3% boost in global GDP that year, which the report claimed would add an extra $4.9 trillion per year to the global economy by 2030 in today’s prices, so discounting inflation, which is equivalent to an economy greater than the projected size of Germany’s.

So where are the jobs going?

According to the report, the number of robots installed in workplaces in the past four years is the same as the number put to work over the eight years previous, so they are growing!

As expected, the majority of jobs being overtaken by automation and robots are in manufacturing, so obviously the country most likely to be effected is China. Researchers found that every third robot is now installed in China, with the world’s second-largest economy accounting for around one-in-five of the global stock of robots.

In the United States, it is predicted that by 2030, more than 1.5 million jobs would have been lost to robots. In China, that number is expected to exceed 11 million and across the EU member states, almost 2 million people would lose out on employment because of automation.

What issues may arise?

Oxford Economics have claimed that despite the threat of job losses, and the obvious impact on the economy, the report has urged lawmakers not to prohibit the rise of automation.

“These findings should not lead policy-makers and other stakeholders to seek to frustrate the adoption of robot technology. Instead the challenge should be to distribute the robotics dividend more evenly by helping vulnerable workers prepare for and adapt to the upheaval it will bring,”


The research has suggested that governments could incentivise companies and workers with financial benefits for engaging in local programs to retrain workers. The report call on the policy makers to develop “aggressive, forward-thinking programs” to counteract the obvious negative impacts of automation.

Despite the obvious issues and negative impacts of robots and automation, I think the majority of people will welcome it. It is an exciting time to be alive when such progression is occurring in our economy.

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