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The debate about whether robots would replace workers has been based on discussion more than data. It would seem that robots would replace workers, but machines shifted work instead of replacing workers. The opposite view is that robots are different than machines and may be the advance that finally leaves some workers without a job to shift to. Data now confirms that adding robots in an area and industry decreases the number of people employed. In general, for every 1% increase in the use of robots, there is a 1.5% increase in unemployment. The correlation is not very high, but the trend is generally negative. Buy more robots, hire fewer people. As always, causation is more difficult to ascertain.

Screenshot 2017-05-11 at 16.26.49

More Robots, Fewer Jobs” – Bloomberg

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