Automation has had an impact on many jobs, from factory workers to white-collar knowledge workers. Train operators such as automate pam’s harvestcraft, for example, are being replaced by computerized systems that run the trains. This has led some people to say that automation is the primary cause of unemployment and income inequality.

1. Automation has led to job losses in manufacturing.

U.S. industries that have experienced job losses over the past few years include manufacturing, retail and transportation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Automation is an important part of the recent change in these industries. The growth of robotics and automation technology has allowed companies to manufacture more products at a lower cost. This has depressed wages by allowing companies to pay workers less than they would otherwise have earned.

2. Automation has led to wage losses for knowledge workers.

The problem for knowledge workers is that automation has replaced their jobs faster than it has replaced workers in other industries. Though there are still millions of people employed in knowledge work, each worker is having to do more work because technology allows them to produce more output. This means these workers are in greater demand, but unable to earn as much as they would if their jobs were identical to those done today a decade ago. Note that this is not a problem with technology itself: automation is valuable because it makes people’s lives easier and less stressful, not because it makes them work less hard or deliver fewer goods or services.

3. High unemployment among young people is partly due to automation.

The labor market for young people has been weak since the recession began in 2007. This has led many to blame the lack of employment opportunities on automation and other technology, even though there is no evidence that this is the case. The problem with unemployment among young people is not job losses or wage decreases caused by automation. Instead, it’s the lack of jobs created by the recession and a prolonged recovery period.

4. Automation has made economic growth more difficult to achieve in recent years.

Economic growth became more difficult as productivity declined between 2000-2009, according to a 2010 report from the Congressional Budget Office . Rising productivity means that companies can produce more goods and services for less cost. But as productivity growth slowed over this period, there was less to drive the economy forward. As a result, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta says that “business investment and labor force growth lagged behind overall economic activity.”

5. Automation is responsible for few jobs in agriculture (farming).

This was one of the primary objections raised against automation prior to the Great Recession. Many believed that farming would be one of the hardest hit industries if technology made it more difficult to make ends meet. This hasn’t been true. Automation has not been responsible for displacing many agricultural workers in the United States. Many jobs in agriculture are seasonal and temporary and thus not suitable for automation. However, this is beginning to change as companies like Crop Science are automating more of the process of farming so that farmers can work less.

6. Automation has led to a decline in the number of manufacturing jobs and an increase in income inequality.

Automation is responsible for much of the loss manufacturing jobs, but not all of them. The loss of these jobs isn’t necessarily problematic: it’s that these are low-paying jobs, especially for people without a college education, which could have helped increase middle-class incomes had they remained in place. Automation has also helped increase the income inequality in the United States by allowing businesses to pay less to workers while they produce more goods and services.

7. Automation has been one of the main reasons that unemployment has been high since 2008.

This is true, but it is not an indication that automation is responsible for dismal unemployment rates in recent years. This argument fails to take into account other factors, including the fact that many people who have obtained new jobs with lower wages were part of a shrinking middle class and were therefore forced out of work through no fault of their own . Furthermore, some people may not have looked for work because they weren’t expecting job losses from technology and automation in the first place.

8. Automation has led to the decline of unionization.

A decline in unionization is not the same as an increase in automation. A decline in unionization has been tied to a larger economic downturn. Other factors, such as globalization, also played a part in decreasing the number of unionized American workers. The only way that automation will increase unionization is if it increases the demand for skilled workers and leads to a rise in wages and benefits for those who are employed by unions, thereby making unions more competitive with non-union companies.

9. Automation could replace jobs that require physical labor .

Some jobs that could be automated in the next decade include those in manufacturing, retail and transportation, according to a report from the World Economic Forum . However, automation is not going to replace all of these jobs: job losses will not occur evenly across all industries. Some industries will see job growth as technology replaces some of their own roles with automated systems. This means that automation technology may occasionally displace workers who do not have specialized skills necessary to operate the technology in place.

10. Automation has contributed to the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China and other developing countries.

This is true, but the loss of manufacturing jobs to other countries has more to do with globalization than automation. Though automation allowed U.S. companies to replace some of their workers with machines, this is a far less important contributor to the loss of these jobs than globalization. Companies were not actively replacing their factory workers with machines in order to move abroad, they were simply using the technology to do their jobs better and produce more goods and services with less money, as should be the case in a healthy economy.


Automation has been around for decades and has affected the workforce since then. Many of the arguments against automation are designed to appeal to people’s emotions rather than their intellect. The premise of this article is that automation should be evaluated on its own merits, without being influenced by cheap emotional appeals.

Automation has already had a significant impact on society and will continue to make an impact as it becomes more prevalent in the years ahead. While some people may be concerned about their job security, the reality is that there will still be many jobs available due to automation’s ability to create new jobs at a faster rate.


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