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22 Provocative Jobs Lost to Automation Statistics

by Branka Vuleta

Automation as we know it has existed for decades. Cars replaced horses, machines replace workers at the big industrial plants, and now robots tend to replace cashiers at the supermarkets. New machines in the 21st century can create a problem with unemployment, as the people that lost their jobs need to find another vocation. Jobs lost to automation statistics show that some jobs completely disappear, while others are just being reshaped under new conditions. 

Researchers don’t agree on how automation will affect long-term employment. Some predict that the rate of unemployment will rise, while others think the new technologies will bring new business opportunities and create jobs that didn’t exist before. 

Automation and artificial intelligence are making progress on a daily level. New machines and computer programs are making jobs faster and easier, and we will see the massive impact of automation on employment  in the years to come. 

Millions of people have already lost jobs in the USA. So, what are predictions? 

Read on.

Crucial Job Loss Stats - Editor’s Choice

jobs lost to automation statistics - robot arm
  • One-fourth of jobs in the US are in danger of automation.
  • The number of robots doing human jobs in various industries increases by 14% annually.
  • Workers at junior positions are facing the biggest threat of automation.
  • By 2030, artificial intelligence is expected to have a $15 billion impact.
  • 55% of the jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree are in jeopardy of automation.
  • One-third of new jobs could no longer exist in the next 25 years.
  • 55% of workers think automation will boost their productivity. 
  • Storage, manufacturing, and transportation are facing the biggest chance to be fully automated, automation job loss statistics say. 

1. More than 25% of Americans feel threatened by automation.

Research shows that 36 million jobs faced automation in 2016, while 35% of all jobs could follow suit by 2030. Most Americans say they feel threatened by new technologies. Speaking in numbers, 57 million jobs are facing potential job loss. 

2. Almost 40% of people fear losing their jobs because of mechanization. 

Automation and job loss statistics show that people are more and more concerned about losing their jobs to automation or robots. The number of worried workers has increased by 4% since 2014. People think that each business is at risk, not just the jobs that don’t require education. But at the same time, the majority thinks robotics and automation could never substitute the rational mind. 

3. 14% more robots start performing some human jobs every year. 

When talking about jobs lost due to technology, we can’t ignore the increased robot presence in almost every industry. Three years ago, 1.8 million robots existed. By 2020, this number will rise to 3 million. New discoveries are speeding up this course, and the predictions are that the number of robots is going to go up even faster in the near future. 

4. More than half of employees think the main goal of automation is productivity growth.

When it comes to automation and jobs, almost 60% of workers think that automation will help them be more productive. Analysis shows that business owners want automation to improve their employee’s productivity or to reduce risks and avoid mistakes. At the same time, there is proof some industry owners are installing innovations because it is a good substitution for human employees – but that’s only 11% of all employers.

5. More than half of employees would work on their bodies and minds just to upgrade their professional skills.

Speaking of jobs at risk of automation, we no longer speak just about losing jobs because automation and robots are taking over. We are also considering how our bodies and minds will have to change just to stay competitive. 70% of people are willing to do whatever it takes to stay as competitive as the robots. 

6. More than half of workers will need up-skilling or reskilling in order to keep their jobs. 

Technological improvements are not affecting just automation and job loss. They are also affecting people who will continue to do their jobs but will have to significantly improve their skills and knowledge in order to stay productive and competitive. 55% of workers will have to gain new skills, and almost 35% of them will have to go to six month-long courses. 10% will have to have year-long training, and 10% will have to continue their education for longer than a year. 

7. Three industries are facing the most chance to be fully automated – storage, transportation, and manufacturing. 

No one can precisely tell how many jobs will be lost to automation, but research from 2017 suggests three waves of automation will have an influence on various industries. Some industries are at greater risk than others. For example, one of the waves will be the period when improved computer programs outperform people in data analysis. 

Industries such as storage and transportation will be hit by the augmentation and the independence rush, and the same thing will happen to manufacture. The construction industry is one of the jobs at risk of automation as well. 

8. Artificial intelligence will most likely have $15 trillion dollars influence on the economy by 2030.  

Asia and America will feel the biggest impact because, research shows. Predictions are, GDP growth will be enormous, by 25% in China and 14% in North America. A big part of the profits will come from product improvements, and automation will increase the affordability and attractiveness of the product, AI replacing jobs statistics predict

9. 55% of vocations that don’t require a college degree could easily be automated in the near future.

Administration jobs and manufacturing will proceed to be at the greatest risk of mechanization in the next few years. All the positions that don’t require a college degree are at high risk as well. One-fourth of these jobs will be done by robots, while almost 80% of food preparation jobs could be automated just as easily.  Jobs lost to automation statistics say these jobs are in sharp contrast to psychology or education, for example, which are very unlikely to fade in the short time. 

10. Rural parts of Europe and America are at a high risk of job losses.

Big cities on the US east and west coast are booming because the IT sector is located there. Automation and artificial intelligence will most likely bring new job opportunities for the people in these areas. At the same time, states in the heart of the US will face the risk of job loss due to automation because people in rural areas won’t be able to find a new vocation as easily. The risk is bigger because they mostly work in industries like transportation and agriculture. 

Alabama and Arkansas show the potential risk could be higher than 65%. 

11. By 2022, jobs done by humans could drop by more than 10%.

Nowadays, 70% of work-tasks are performed by people, and 30% utilize automation or artificial intelligence. If these unfavorable unemployment trends continue, predictions are that in the year to come, humans will be doing less than 60% of the work and machines will be doing 42%. Automation replacing jobs will be significantly seen in information technology. What’s more, it will take one share of communicating and coordinating.

12. 17% of the jobs held by women are in danger of automation, and 24% of jobs held by men face the same risk.

This gap is so great because more men work in production, manufacturing, or transportation. Industries such as building and installation are dominated by men, and they are at the highest automation risk level. Most women work in professions like teaching and health care that are at a low risk of automation.

13. Junior positions are the easiest to be replaced.

Young workers aged 18 to 25 are at a 50% automation risk. Older workers, up to 54 years of age, face a 40% automation risk, and workers aged 55-64 an even smaller one. 

Why are the youngest the most easily replaced? 

The thing is, they often perform highly repetitive tasks, for example in food service or food preparation, and the food industry is highly rated by the jobs automation risk calculator

To illustrate this, we will look at young workers in the food service and preparation sector in the US. Young workers make up 10% of America’s workforce, but they hold 30% of food prep and service jobs – jobs that are most easily replaced by robots.

14. One-third of new jobs are for employment that didn’t exist 30 years ago.

Automation doesn’t always entail great job loss or negative productivity of human workers. Sometimes, it leads to automation job displacement. Since 1930, automation has brought a productivity and vocational boost. Workers also tend to think that automation will bring them new job opportunities, even higher salaries. 

On the one hand, employees are willing to learn new programs and acquire new skills and abilities if that means they will find a new job easily. On the other hand, economists think modern automation is different and that its main goal is to displace rather than improve humans’ work. So there will be more and more jobs lost to automation by 2030

15. Robots could take over 20 million jobs in the next decade. 

Each robot can do what 1.6 humans workers can. This means that millions of workers could be replaced in the next ten years.  Regions that are marked as low-income areas will experience a greater impact of automation than high-income regions. 

But it’s not just about low-income industries:

16. Elevator operator is among the jobs that are lost because of automation. 

Speaking of jobs lost to automation since 1980, we have to mention elevator operators. We all know how elevators work – we press the button, and elevators lift goes to the designated floor. But when they were first invented, elevators couldn’t stop on the exact level people wanted. This is why lift operators manually controlled when to stop them, and they opened and locked the doors. This is just one of the jobs that no longer exist, together with film projectionist, bowling alley pinsetter, and switchboard operator. 

17. Purchases of medicinal robots are increasing by 50% every year. 

We could ask ourselves: 

How many jobs will be lost to AI in the medical industry? 

Here’s the answer:

By 2050 the number of 62-year olds will go from 10% to 20%, as will the need for investment in healthcare. So, artificial intelligence will improve some tasks in clinics, assisted apartments, and businesses. Robots working in medical services are now worth $2 billion. 

18. Estimations are automation can boost global GDP by 1.5% every year. 

Automation is very efficient when countries want to boost their productivity, jobs lost to automation statistics show. This boost has one condition. Workers who lose their jobs must work again in order to sustain long-term economic growth. 

19. The proportion of the workforce in agriculture decreased from 40% in 1900 to just 10% in 1950.

When it comes to agriculture, fewer people are needed to do even more work, and many jobs in this industry no longer exist. Efficient tools and machines made agriculture’s productivity soar in the last two decades. The percentage of jobs at risk of automation in agriculture is very high in China, where 30% of people have moved out of agriculture in the last 15 years. In the United States, the same thing happened after World War II, but at the time, workers displaced from agriculture easily found new jobs in trading or manufacturing. 

20. From 2001 to 2017, technology removed over 850,000 jobs in England and produced nearly 3.6 million new ones.

People tend to count the number of jobs lost to automation, but in some industries quite the opposite happens. Technology replaces some workers and necessitates the hiring of others. These workers find different jobs, some of which are created by computerization. What’s more, these workers get proper education and guidance for their new vocations. Greater productivity means greater incomes and lower prices. All of this leads to a bigger search for assets and services, which leads to more employment.

The big question now is: 

How many jobs will be automated in the approaching future, and how fast will automation create new jobs? 

21. 7 million people in America lost their jobs due to automation in the last 15 years. 

When production met automation, citizens gained access cheaper products, while large sectors of the workforce were left jobless. Once they are able to find new jobs, they face a reduction in wages of up to 30%, automation and job loss statistics show.

Despite these statistics…

22. Two-thirds of workers think automation will bring them more highly skilled work. 

The International Federation of Robotics found that, even the number of jobs lost by automation keeps rising, people are still very optimistic about the benefits it could bring. The survey found out that workers that are at the greatest risk hope to get higher-skilled employment. Workers whose jobs were eliminated by automation hope to get qualified to navigate the machines and earn more than before.

In Conclusion…

jobs lost to automation statistics - robot

Automation is one of the most powerful forces that are changing and reshaping the modern world. Every technical and mechanical change has brought great disturbances to the way the market works and the sort of businesses that people do. The changes that are coming will be even more dramatic than those in the past. 

Our exploration of jobs lost to automation has shown that artificial intelligence and robotics will eliminate some jobs but also create a better work environment for everyone. 

People will be educated in areas such as computing and design because robots will take over manual labor, leaving us with situations that need more critical thinking and planning. 

Jobs lost to automation statistics reveal most people would use tech to develop their performances in order to keep up to speed with the latest trends. 

Bottom line: 

In the next 50 years the world will change rapidly, and workers will have to come up with new ways to fit in wisely.


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What is job automation?

Automation is the use of computer-controlled devices or electronics in order to control the work process. It is very significant when it comes to the working environment because it controls and fastens the processes. In most cases, automation can replace labor. 

For example, when it comes to planting seeds, machines will do that more precisely than a human ever could – and much faster. Automation is very important in transportation, manufacturing, and facility operations. Job automation nowadays exists in all industries, even in sales and marketing.

What percentage of jobs have been lost to automation?

In the last 15 years, 2% of people in the US have lost their jobs due to automation. This figure might look small, but in real numbers, it is around 7 million people. 

Pessimists think that in the near future, only people who specialize for positions that can’t be automated will have jobs. They say that artists and musicians are safe for now. Workers without a college degree are facing the biggest danger of automation. 

What jobs are at risk of being lost to robots?

Research shows that 25% of the workforce is endangered by job automation. Low-wage earners and men are prone to this problem more than some other groups. 

Food preparation, administration, and transportation could be easily done by robots. Creative and executive jobs will still exist, and so will domestic service jobs and personal care. In other words, all the jobs that need some interpersonal skills and emotions will continue to be around in the near future. 

What jobs will be automated by 2030?

People’s labor is no longer needed in some professions. Some jobs are more easily automated than others, and there are some vocations researchers think will cease to exist by 2030. They are:

  • Insurance officers
  • Manufacturing vocations
  • Customer service
  • Research and data entry
  • Production line jobs
  • TV advertising
  • Fast food jobs
  • Delivery services

Some researchers go as far as saying that any job that can be learned will stop to exist in the near future. 

What jobs are least likely to be automated?

Some research says that there are certain professions that have less than a 1% chance of being automated. Here they are: 

  • Physical therapist
  • Installers and repairers
  • Audiologist
  • Emergency management directors
  • Healthcare workers
  • Surgeons
  • Sales engineers
  • Nutritionists
  • Police officers
  • Dentists
  • Teachers
  • Professors
  • Psychologists
  • Detectives

Jobs that don’t involve repetitive tasks will continue to exist because machines still don’t know how to treat a toothache or a stomachache, and they still can’t make big corporate decisions.  

What jobs are at risk of automation?

Research by McKinsey & Company found that one in three jobs we know today could be automated. The same research says that 5% of jobs could completely disappear or be done by robots or computers. We are talking about vocations such are food delivery, construction, office administration, manufacturing, retail, data entry keyers, library technicians, and telemarketers. Even medicine could be changed by artificial intelligence. But for now, human lives are still in human hands. 

Does automation create more jobs?

Automation doesn’t necessarily mean great job loss for millions of people as many unemployment statistics indicate. It could also be a great job opportunity. A report from the MansPower Group predicts that some jobs will be invented to do what robots can’t. In some manufacturing companies, owners already teach their employees how to do new jobs because manufacturing is one of the sectors that will most probably disappear. That’s why business owners want to give their workers proper education, so they are prepared when the switch comes. 

What percent of jobs are automated?

According to estimates, 47% of jobs will be automated in the near future. For now, this number is smaller – 2% of jobs have been fully automated. Some of them are switchboard operator, bowling alley pinsetter, elevator operator, film projectionist, knocker-upper, check-out cashier, and railway station ticket seller.

Some jobs are being partially automated but still need humans to direct the machines, so we can’t say that people lost their jobs to automation – their jobs just changed. 

Is accounting at risk of automation?

Although manufacturing employees work 40.4 hours per week, machines are able to complete all repetitive tasks much faster than humans. What’s more, they can learn new information and improve their performance. Machines can already do audits, taxes, and payroll. These processes are now much faster, so many accountants are worried about the billable hours and whether their services will be required at all. 

Even though automation is changing accounting, artificial intelligence will still need human guidance.

How many jobs are being lost to automation?

In the last five years, the most cited jobs lost to automation statistics mention a study by Oxford University. This study predicts that 47% of all the jobs in the USA will be automated in the next two decades. PwC, on the other hand, predicts that 38% of jobs are prone to automation, and the McKinsey report says around 50% of work tasks are automatable at the moment.

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