Every industrial robot takes up to 6 jobs, study finds

Industrial robots could take over 6 million jobs in a decade, new research finds. Economists Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Pascual Restrepo of Boston University say that at the high end of projected industrial robot takeup, there would be a 0.94 to 1.76 percentage point decline in the employment-to-population ratio by 2025. Though the authors didn’t quantify the jobs at risk, the Census Bureau projects the 2025 population to be 347.3 million people, meaning between 3.3 million and 6.1 million jobs could be lost. Even a more conservative projection of robot usage would imply a 0.54 to 1 percentage point decline in the employment-to-population ratio, or between 1.9 million and 3.5 million jobs lost. The authors studied the impact of rising industrial robot usage between 1990 and 2007. They found that each new robot per thousand workers reduced the employment-to-population ratio by about 0.18 to 0.34 percentage points, and wages fell between 0.25% to 0.5%. Another way to say that: between 3 and 5.6 workers lost their jobs for each robot added to the national economy.