If You Make $20 Or Less Per Hour, Here’s What You Need To Know

While unemployment is a scary thought for most people, especially those who are at the bottom end of the pay scale, a new report suggests that those who are paid less than $20 an hour will face losing their jobs to robots over the next few years.

By Nigel Boys

The news comes after the release of a 2016 economic report by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), according to the Daily Mail.

Referring to a 2013 study about the “automation of jobs,” which was done by researchers at Oxford University, the CEA report said there is an 83 percent chance that artificial intelligence will eventually take over low-paying jobs.

However, there is only a 31 percent chance that those earning more than $20 an hour will be forced out by robots and only a 4 percent risk that those who are paid $40 an hour or more, will need to worry.

The Oxford researchers found that 702 different occupations were in danger of being taken over by automation in the foreseeable future. Those jobs were then matched to a wage that determines the worker’s risk of having their jobs taken over by a robot.

“The median probability of automation was then calculated for three ranges of hourly wage: less than 20 dollars; 20 to 40 dollars; and more than 40 dollars,” the report reads.

Jason Furman, the Chairman of the CEA, told reporters on Monday that the risk of having your job taken over by a robot “varies enormously based on what your salary is.”

Referring to programs advocated by President Obama, the Chairman stated that the threat of losing low-paying jobs to robots is “another example of why those investments in education to make sure that people have skills that complements automation are so important.”

However, the possibility of robots taking over the work of humans is nothing new, even if it is only now starting to become more of a threat. Over the last two decades, automated machines have played an important role in the growth of several nations, according to reports.

“A recent study estimates that robotics added an average of 0.37 percentage points to a country’s annual GDP growth between 1993 and 2007, accounting for about one-tenth of GDP growth during this time period,” according to Furman. “This same study also estimates that robotics added 0.36 percentage points to labor productivity growth, accounting for about 16 percent of labor productivity growth during this time period,” he adds.

While some believe that workers forced out by automation will either leave them happy in their newfound leisure time or suffering because they don’t have work, most economists believe that will likely not be the case.

Low income human workers forced out of their positions by robots, have in the past, been pushed up to higher paying jobs which require more complex thinking skills, according to some economists. This is a thing which robots are unable to do, they add, at least for the moment.

The International Federation of Robotics reports that worldwide shipments of robotics, had doubled in the space of the four years between 2010 to 2014, to a total of 229,000.

Despite the fact that the U.S. had about 135 robots for every 10,000 workers in a 2012 report, which is ahead of China, they still fall far behind Japan and Germany.

With the growing rise of telemedicine, the most likely people to be impacted by the takeover of robotics are those within healthcare. These will be followed by workers in energy and financial services, according to experts.

However, some believe that there will likely be an increase in demand for workers who are skilled in certain fields, including data analysts and specialist sales representatives.

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