Are You at Risk of Being Replaced by a Robot?

Fear not! Technology has eliminated many jobs that humans used to do, but has more than made up for it by creating jobs in other areas, a new study says. Here’s the scoop.

Are robots going to take over your job? Probably not.

According to a new study by economists at management consultancy Deloitte, contrary to what many people think, technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed.

Researchers Ian Stewart, Debapratim De and Alex Cole looked at 140 years of census data for England and Wales, starting in 1871. According to The Guardian, the economists concluded that technology has been a “great job-creating machine.”

“Findings by Deloitte such as a fourfold rise in bar staff since the 1950s or a surge in the number of hairdressers this century suggest to the authors that technology has increased spending power, therefore creating new demand and new jobs,” The Guardian said.

Of course, not all jobs are safe. The Deloitte researchers found that jobs that are routine-based are the most vulnerable to a tech takeover.

“Machines will take on more repetitive and laborious tasks, but seem no closer to eliminating the need for human labor than at any time in the last 150 years,” the authors write.

According to CNN Money, the study found that fewer people are working in these jobs because the routine nature of the work can be substituted by technology:

  • Footwear and leather working: These jobs have declined 82 percent since 1992.
  • Weavers and knitters: 79 percent decline.
  • Metal-making and treating-process operators: 70 percent decline.
  • Typists and related keyboard occupations: 57 percent decline.
  • Secretaries: 52 percent decline.
  • Energy plant workers: 51 percent decline.
  • Farm workers: 50 percent decline.
  • Metal-machine setters and setter-operators: 44 percent decline.

While routine jobs have taken a hit in the last century and a half, nonroutine jobs, like those in care, education and service roles, have skyrocketed.

“Technology is highly complementary to cognitive, nonroutine tasks … [and] there is little opportunity to apply technology in nonroutine manual tasks, such as those done by care home workers,” the study said.

The study noted that these jobs, which are often complemented by technology, have experienced explosive growth since 1992:

  • Nursing: 909 percent increase
  • Teaching: 580 percent increase
  • Management consultants and business analysts: 365 percent increase
  • IT managers: 195 percent increase
  • Welfare, housing, youth and community workers: 183 percent increase.
  • Care workers and home-care givers: 168 percent increase
  • Actors, dancers, entertainment hosts, producers and directors: 156 percent increase
  • Financial managers: 132 percent increase

How does technology impact your job? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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