Automation Impacting the Future of Work

Friday, April 13, 2018

Automation has been impacting work in the United States for over 100 years.  The Kennedy Administration pointed to the impact of automation impacting the manufacturing sector starting in the 1950s.  Industries like textiles figured out how machines could replace humans and produce higher quality products for less money.  Occupations with the highest chance of being automated involve work that involves highly predictable physical activities as well as collecting and analyzing data.  Thus, occupations are more likely to change than be automated away.  Advances in computer software and the development of artificial intelligence is giving computers the ability to learn while the cost and ability of robots is making them more and more commonplace in the manufacturing sector.

By 2035, 47% of U.S. jobs might be at risk due to advances in machine learning, automation, and artificial intelligence according to a recent White House report. McKinsey estimates that almost half the activities people are paid almost $16 T in wages to do in the global economy have the potential to be automated through existing technology.  This may impact 2,000 work activities across 800 occupations and 60 M U.S. jobs.

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