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The Impact of Automation on Job Security: Navigating Disruption and Embracing Opportunity

Impact of Automation on Job Security

Automation has already started transforming the manufacturing sector, and this has consequences for job security worldwide. While the use of machines, robots, and automation systems can increase productivity and reduce costs, they can also lead to job displacement and potential job loss.

This article will examine the impact of automation on job security, the growth of industrial robots, and the future of jobs in the US and worldwide.

Manufacturing Job Displacement

Manufacturing has seen tremendous impact from automation, and this has affected many workers employed in this sector. In 2018, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that around 1.5 million manufacturing jobs have been lost to automation since 2000.

This has been a result of the introduction of new technologies and robots that require fewer workers to manufacture goods.

Increase in Industrial Robots in the US

The United States is the world’s largest user of industrial robots, accounting for 40% of the global market share. According to the International Federation of Robotics, the US saw a surge in the installation of industrial robots in the automotive and electronics industries in 2019.

There was a 16% increase in installations of industrial robots, to a total of 33,000 units, marking an all-time high.

Potential Job Loss Due to Automation

While the use of automation can lead to the creation of some new job roles, certain occupations may eventually become obsolete. Studies have found that industries such as transportation, retail, and food service are the most at risk of losing jobs due to automation.

Additionally, a report by the McKinsey Global Institute found that up to 800 million jobs worldwide could be threatened by automation by 2030.

Public Concern About Automation

The rise of automation has led to many concerns among the public about job security. Many people feel that automation could lead to widespread unemployment and economic hardships.

However, some experts believe that automation can create new job opportunities and that there is only a small chance that it will lead to widespread unemployment.

Approval of Automation in Dangerous Jobs

Automation can be particularly useful in jobs that are dangerous to human workers. For example, robots can be used in places like war zones or dangerous factories where it is unsafe for humans.

The use of automation in dangerous jobs can make people feel safer, but it can also lead to job loss as fewer human workers are required to do the same tasks.

Growth in Installation of Industrial Robots

In addition to the United States, many other countries are also seeing a surge in the installation of industrial robots. Countries such as Japan, China, and Germany are taking the lead with the adoption of industrial robots.

Reports indicate that there has been a global increase in the number of industrial robots operating in recent years, with an estimated 2.4 million sold worldwide in 2019.

Susceptibility of American Jobs to Automation

According to a report by the Brookings Institution, automation has already started to affect jobs in the United States. The report identified around 25% of American jobs as being at high risk of displacement due to automation.

Even highly skilled jobs such as computer programming and legal work could be at risk due to the rise of automation.

Global Increase in Operating Industrial Robots

Reports have shown that many industries across the world are embracing automation in response to increased demand for higher productivity and efficiency. A report by the International Robotics Federation shows that there is a steady increase in the operating number of industrial robots, with a total of 2.7 million robots in operation in 2019.

This represents a total unit growth of 12% compared to the previous year.


As automation technology continues to evolve, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of its adoption. While automation can undoubtedly increase productivity and efficiency of industries, job displacement is a problem for those who work in the affected areas.

However, the debate over whether automation is a job killer or creator continues, and only time will tell how it will shape the future of work.

Automation and Job Loss Statistics by Industry

Automation has had a significant impact on job security across various industries. As mentioned in the previous sections, the advent of new technologies, machines, and automation systems created new job opportunities while simultaneously rendering some jobs obsolete.

This section will delve into the impact of automation on job security across different industries and identify which type of professions are most susceptible to automation.

Percentage of Industrial Robots in Manufacturing Industry

Industrial robots have transformed the manufacturing industry by increasing efficiency, productivity, and profitability. According to a report by the Robotics Industries Association, industrial robots accounted for around 10% of the entire workforce in the manufacturing industry in 2019.

This represented an increase of 7% compared to the previous year. Recent developments in robotics technology have increased the speed, accuracy, and versatility of industrial robots, leading to a higher output of goods within the manufacturing industry.

While industrial robots increase productivity, they also result in job displacement for workers performing required tasks.

Industries with the Highest Robot Usage

The automotive and electronics industries are examples of sectors with the highest usage of industrial robots worldwide, with increasing robotic installations in other sectors such as healthcare and logistics. In 2019, the automotive industry accounted for almost 30% of the total number of industrial robots installed in the United States and Germany alone.

The electronics industry follows the automotive industry in terms of robot usage due to the high precision and speed required in manufacturing electronic goods. The medical industry has seen a surge in the use of industrial robots, primarily in terms of surgical procedures and diagnostics.

Automotive Industry and Manufacturing Robots

The introduction of automated manufacturing systems and industrial robots into the automotive industry has led to significant improvements in production cycles. However, their usage has led to job displacement and eliminates jobs that were previously essential in the production line.

In the United States, the General Motors (GM) manufacturing plant in Lordstown served as an example of the effects of automation in the automotive industry. The Lordstown plant, which had over 4,500 employees at one point, closed in 2019 due to declining sales and increased automation levels.

The company cited increasing costs and a drive to increase productivity as reasons for closing the plant.

Skills to Avoid Job Automation

To avoid being rendered jobless by automation, workers need to have specific skills that best align with the growing automation industry. Routine jobs, such as assembly line work and manual labor, are at a higher risk of automation.

Conversely, occupations requiring non-routine tasks such as creativity, leadership, and problem-solving have a low automation risk. Skills such as critical thinking, communication, problem-solving, creativity, and leadership are crucial skills that automation has a difficult time replicating.

Those in specialized roles in technical, scientific and creative fields such as engineering, healthcare, and software development have lower chances of automation, providing a stable and secure career path.

Jobs with Low Automation Risk and High Salary

Some jobs carry low automation risk while at the same time have a high salary. Such jobs require specialized knowledge or training, creativity, or problem-solving skills to perform and are resistant to being replaced by automation.

Examples of such jobs include management positions, software developers, physicians, and biochemists. Management positions require excellent communication, problem-solving, decision-making skills, and the ability to interact with others, making it a low-risk profession to automation.

Software developers are in high demand worldwide and require specialized knowledge, analytical and technical problem-solving skills, lead creative teams and are compensated with high salaries. Similarly, physicians and biochemists need specialized knowledge and skills that cannot easily be replicated by automated machines.

Jobs with Highest and Lowest Automation Risk

With the continued development of technology and automation, certain jobs carry higher automation risks than others. Jobs that are routine, repetitive, and predictable have a higher susceptibility to displacement through automation.

Conversely, jobs requiring creativity, non-routine problem-solving skills, and communication are better able to resist automation. Jobs with the Lowest Automation Risk include professions in the healthcare and education fields, as these roles require human interaction, decision-making and creativity details, making them challenging to automate.

Teachers, therapists, and social workers fall into this category of low automation risk professions. On the other hand, Jobs with the Highest Automation Risk include positions such as cashiers, bank tellers, fast food workers, assembly line workers and customer service representatives.

These job roles have higher chances of being automated due to the routine nature of the work, making them more susceptible to being replaced by machines.


As automation and technology continue to improve, it is essential to recognize the impact that automation can have on different job industries. While automation has many benefits, it can also lead to job displacement and potential job loss.

It is more important than ever before for workers to upskill and specialize in professions that are resistant to automation. Overall, by understanding automation and the impact it has on different job industries, we can better prepare for the future of work and ensure that society’s needs are being met.

Automation and Job Loss Statistics by Demographics

Automation technologies have the potential to impact different demographic groups in unique ways. Factors such as race, age, gender, and generational preferences can influence the susceptibility of individuals to job loss as a result of automation.

This section will explore the statistics and implications of automation on various demographic groups. Job Loss Risk for Different Racial/Ethnic Groups

Studies have shown that individuals from different racial and ethnic groups may face varying levels of job loss risk due to automation.

According to research conducted by the Brookings Institution, African American and Hispanic workers have a higher risk of job loss compared to white workers. This disparity may be attributed to the higher representation of minority workers in occupations that are at a higher risk of automation, such as manufacturing and low-skilled service jobs.

Furthermore, racial and ethnic disparities in access to education and skill development may also contribute to the higher job loss risk. It is crucial to address these disparities and provide equal opportunities for skills training and education to minimize the impact of automation on these groups.

Impact of Automation on Different Age Groups

Automation can have varying impacts on different age groups within the workforce. Older workers may face particular challenges as they may have a higher risk of job displacement due to automation.

Research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggests that workers over the age of 50 are more likely to experience job loss as a result of automation compared to their younger counterparts. However, it is important to note that automation can also create new job opportunities, and older workers can adapt and reskill to remain relevant in the evolving job market.

Lifelong learning programs and flexible skill development initiatives can help older workers acquire new skills and transition into emerging job roles. Job Preferences of Baby Boomers vs.


The preferences and expectations of different generations, such as Baby Boomers and Millennials, can influence their vulnerability to job displacement caused by automation. Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, tend to value stability and job security, often opting for traditional, predictable career paths.

They may be at a higher risk of job loss if they are resistant to adapt to technological changes brought about by automation. In contrast, Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, have grown up in a digital era and are generally more comfortable with technology.

They are more likely to embrace new technologies and seek out job opportunities in fields that align with their technological skills. This generation’s adaptability to automation can provide them with a comparative advantage in the job market.

Gender Differences in Job Loss Risk

Gender differences can also influence the risk of job loss due to automation. Research suggests that certain jobs traditionally dominated by men, such as manufacturing and transportation, are more susceptible to automation.

Consequently, men working in these industries may face higher job loss risks. On the other hand, women may face job loss risks due to automation in fields such as administrative support and clerical work.

Developing gender-neutral policies and promoting equitable access to education and training in emerging fields can help mitigate the gendered impact of automation on job security.

Automation and Job Loss Statistics by Region

Automation’s impact on job security can also vary across different regions. Factors such as regional economies, infrastructure, and industry specialization can influence the level of automation risk in a particular area.

The following section explores the statistics and implications of automation on different regions.

Job Automation Risk in Nevada

Nevada, known for its tourism and entertainment industries, faces unique automation challenges. The state’s heavy reliance on service-based industries, such as hospitality and gaming, exposes a significant portion of its workforce to potential job loss due to automation.

Although advancements in technology, such as automation in hotel check-ins or self-service kiosks at casinos, can increase efficiency and reduce labor costs, they may also lead to job displacement for workers in these industries. To mitigate the impact of automation on Nevada’s workforce, targeted job training programs and diversification of the state’s economy can help create new opportunities in emerging sectors.

Cities with the Most Robots in the Workforce

Certain cities have embraced automation more extensively than others, leading to a higher concentration of robots in the workforce. A prime example is the city of Detroit, historically a hub for the automotive industry.

With the rise of industrial robotics, Detroit has seen a significant increase in the number of robots in its workforce. This automation trend has transformed traditional manufacturing processes, improving efficiency but also leading to job loss in some areas.

Similarly, cities like Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai have adopted extensive automation technologies, particularly in manufacturing and electronics industries. These cities have embraced automation to enhance productivity and maintain a competitive edge in global markets.

US Cities with the Highest Job Automation Rates

While automation has impacted various cities across the United States, some urban centers are more susceptible to job losses compared to others. Research by the McKinsey Global Institute identified cities such as Las Vegas, Orlando, and Phoenix as having the highest job automation rates in the US.

These cities heavily rely on industries like tourism, entertainment, and retail, which are undergoing significant transformations due to automation. Efforts to address the potential job displacement in these cities include retraining programs, diversifying industries, and attracting technological investments to create a resilient and dynamic job market.

Impact of Automation on Urban and Rural Areas

Automation can have varying impacts on urban and rural areas. Urban centers with diverse economies can often adapt more readily to automation by shifting job roles and creating new opportunities.

However, rural areas may face more challenges in navigating the consequences of automation. Rural areas, often relying on traditional industries such as agriculture and manufacturing, are prone to job loss risks as automation transforms these sectors.

To combat these challenges, investment in education, training, and infrastructure development can help rural areas transition to emerging industries and mitigate the adverse effects of automation.


Automation’s effect on job security is not uniform across different demographics or regions. Understanding the varying impacts can provide insights on how best to address potential job losses and promote equitable opportunities.

By implementing strategic policies, investing in education and skills training, and fostering a culture of lifelong learning, societies can navigate the transformative power of automation to ensure inclusive and sustainable employment for all.

Automation and Job Loss Trends and Predictions

As technology continues to advance rapidly, automation has become a hot topic of discussion. The impact of automation on job security has raised concerns and sparked debates about the future of work.

This section will delve into current trends in job loss due to automation, explore predictions for future job inventions, and examine the global growth of the robot market.

Projection of Future Job Inventions

While automation has led to job displacement in certain industries, it has also created new job opportunities. Several reports and studies have projected the types of jobs that may emerge in the future as a result of automation and technological advancements.

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report predicts that by 2025, emerging job roles such as data analysts, artificial intelligence specialists, and robotics engineers will be in high demand. These jobs will require skill sets that are complementary to automation and will drive innovation and development in various industries.

Additionally, there is a growing trend of the gig economy, which involves freelance work and independent contracting. As automation continues to reshape the labor market, individuals may increasingly rely on gig work, embracing flexibility and diversifying income streams across multiple projects.

Current Robot-Human Task Completion Ratio

Automation in industries is measured by the current ratio of tasks completed by robots compared to tasks completed by humans. A study by the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that currently, only about 29% of tasks across industries are performed by robots or automated systems.

This suggests that there is still a substantial amount of work that requires human involvement. The ratio varies significantly across sectors and job roles.

For example, in manufacturing and agriculture, automation has made significant progress, with robots performing a larger share of tasks. On the other hand, in sectors like healthcare and education, human involvement is still crucial, and automation is more limited.

Global Growth of the Robot Market

The global market for industrial robots has experienced exponential growth in recent years. According to the International Federation of Robotics, between 2010 and 2019, worldwide sales of industrial robots increased by an average of 12% annually.

This growth is driven by advancements in technology, increased demand for productivity, and cost efficiency across industries. Countries such as China, Japan, the United States, Germany, and South Korea have emerged as key players in the robot market.

China, in particular, has witnessed rapid growth in robot installations, driven by its focus on industrial automation and technological advancements. The global growth of the robot market is expected to continue, with estimates projecting a compound annual growth rate of around 10% through 2027.

As automation technology becomes more accessible and affordable, smaller businesses and industries are likely to adopt robots, further expanding the market.

Opinions on Job Loss and Automation Statistics

Opinions about the impact of automation on job loss vary widely among the general public. While some individuals express concerns about potential large-scale job displacement, others believe that automation will create new opportunities and improve productivity.

Public Opinion on Automation’s Impact

According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, around 72% of Americans are worried about the potential impact of automation on job security. Concerns revolve around the potential loss of jobs, economic inequality, and the ability of workers to adapt to the changing job market.

In contrast, some experts and economists argue that automation will lead to the creation of new job roles and increased productivity. They believe that automation technologies have the potential to empower workers, enhance creativity and problem-solving, and improve livelihoods.

Concerns about Job Loss and Inequality

One of the main concerns surrounding automation is the potential exacerbation of income inequality. It is feared that automation may disproportionately affect low-skilled workers who are more prone to job loss.

This could lead to widening income gaps and economic disparities. Additionally, there are concerns that individuals with limited access to education and training may struggle to navigate the changing employment landscape.

Addressing these concerns requires a focus on job reskilling and upskilling programs, as well as ensuring equal access to education and training opportunities for all.

Fear of Job Displacement from Automation

Fear of job displacement is a common sentiment among workers, particularly those whose jobs are susceptible to automation. This fear is fueled by the uncertainty of the future labor market and the potential disruption of industries that have historically provided stable employment.

However, it is important to note that history has shown that technological advancements often lead to the creation of new jobs and industries. While job roles may transform and require different skill sets, automation also has the potential to improve work conditions, increase productivity, and contribute to economic growth.

Perception of Automation’s Benefits for Workers

Despite concerns about job loss, there is also a recognition that automation can bring substantial benefits to workers. Automation can eliminate repetitive and mundane tasks, allowing workers to focus on more complex and intellectually stimulating work.

This can lead to greater job satisfaction, skill development, and improved overall well-being. Automation can also improve workplace safety by replacing humans in dangerous or hazardous tasks.

This is particularly evident in industries such as mining, construction, and manufacturing where automation technologies can reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities.


Automation continues to shape the future of work in various industries, with both positive and negative implications for job security. While job displacement remains a concern, the emergence of new job inventions and the potential for increased productivity offer opportunities for societal and economic growth.

It is crucial to navigate the impact of automation through effective policies and investments in education, job training, and workforce development to ensure a smooth transition into the future of work.

Job Loss due to Technology Statistics FAQ

Concerns about Job Loss from Automation

Job loss resulting from automation is a legitimate concern among individuals and communities. As technology advances and automation becomes more pervasive, there is fear that many traditional jobs will become obsolete.

This concern arises from the understanding that machines and software can perform tasks more efficiently and accurately than humans in certain roles. It is important to acknowledge the worries associated with job loss.

Automation has the potential to disrupt industries and displace workers, especially those in jobs that involve routine and repetitive tasks. However, it is crucial to approach this issue with nuance and recognize that automation also creates new job opportunities and can lead to overall economic growth and improved quality of life.

Ways to Avoid Job Loss to Automation

While job loss to automation is a reality, there are ways individuals can adapt and minimize the risk of displacement. One strategy is to focus on developing skills that are complementary to automation.

Acquiring expertise in areas such as data analysis, programming, problem-solving, and creative thinking can improve job prospects and make individuals more resilient to automation-related changes. Continuous learning and upskilling are essential to stay ahead of technological advancements.

Individuals can take advantage of training programs, online courses, and certifications to enhance their skillsets. Additionally, cultivating a growth mindset and being open to new opportunities and industries can help navigate the changing job landscape.

Creation vs. Destruction of Jobs by Technology

The impact of technology on job creation and destruction is complex.

While automation may eliminate certain jobs, it also has the potential to create new ones. Historically, technological advancements have led to job reallocation rather than widespread unemployment.

As tasks are automated, workers are often freed up to focus on higher-level responsibilities and more complex problem-solving. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, the widespread adoption of automation technologies is expected to lead to the net creation of 12 million jobs globally by 2025.

These jobs may be in emerging sectors such as artificial intelligence, robotics, data analytics, and renewable energy. The transformative power of technology can spur economic growth, drive innovation, and open up possibilities for new industries and career paths.

Predicted Job Loss to Automation by 2030

Various studies and reports have made predictions about the extent of job loss to automation in the coming years. A widely cited study by the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that by 2030, automation could displace around 800 million jobs globally.

However, this estimate does not take into account the potential for the creation of new jobs or the role of human ingenuity in adapting to changing circumstances. It is important to note that these predictions are based on current technological trends and assumptions about the pace and scale of automation.

The actual impact on job loss may differ due to factors such as policy interventions, economic conditions, and societal adaptations. The focus should be on proactive measures to support workers in transitioning to new opportunities and ensuring the benefits of automation are shared equitably.

Final Thoughts

The impact of automation on workers, the job market, and the economy is a multifaceted issue that warrants careful consideration. While concerns about job loss and automation are valid, it is important to critically analyze the potential benefits and challenges that arise from technological advancements.

Automation has the potential to create new jobs that require specialized skills and knowledge. Industries will continue to evolve, and new avenues for employment will emerge.

It is crucial for individuals to embrace lifelong learning and adaptability to improve their prospects in the ever-changing job market. Negative opinions and concerns about automation often stem from fears of job displacement and economic inequality.

However, it is essential to recognize that the adoption of automation can lead to improved productivity, increased efficiency, and enhanced safety. By automating mundane and repetitive tasks, workers have the opportunity to focus on more fulfilling and value-added work.

The potential positive outcomes of automation include increased economic growth, improved work-life balance, and the creation of new opportunities that demand uniquely human skills. Societies should endeavor to address the challenges posed by automation by implementing supportive policies, promoting educational initiatives, and fostering inclusive economic systems that ensure fair and equitable distribution of both the benefits and burdens of technological advancement.

Through proactive measures, the potential of automation can be harnessed to create a more prosperous and inclusive future for all. In conclusion, the impact of automation on job security is a topic of increasing concern and interest.

While automation has the potential to displace certain jobs, it also creates new opportunities and drives economic growth. Concerns about job loss can be addressed through proactive measures, such as acquiring relevant skills and embracing lifelong learning.

It is important to recognize that technological advancements have historically led to the reallocation of jobs rather than widespread unemployment. By understanding the potential benefits and challenges of automation, societies can navigate its impact, ensure equitable distribution of its benefits, and cultivate a prosperous and inclusive future.

Embracing the transformative power of automation with proactive measures can empower workers to adapt and thrive in an ever-evolving job market.

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