There is no single effect of "automation" on the workforce and the labor market. It is long past time for us to dig deeper, and here is a good piece of spadework:

Sotiris Blanas, Gino Gancia, and Tim Lee: How Different Technologies Affect Different Workers "Since the early 1980s, technology has reduced the demand for low and medium-skill workers, the young, and women, especially in manufacturing industries. The column investigates which technologies have had the largest effect, and on which types of worker. It finds that robots and software raised the demand for high-skill workers, older workers, and men, especially in service industries.... From 1982 to 2005, using data from 30 industries spanning roughly the entire economies of ten high-income countries.... We used the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) to evaluate which jobs are more prone to automation based on the type of tasks they require.... Industrial robots decrease low-skill employment, while they increase the income shares of high and medium-skill workers, old workers, and men.... In manufacturing, robots lower low-skill, young, and female employment, while in services, they increase medium-skill and male employment. In both sectors, robots increase the income shares of high-skill, old, and male workers. Our results are consistent with the view that robots replace workers who perform routine tasks, especially in sectors where automation is more widespread, such as manufacturing. By contrast, they increase employment and incomes in sectors where automation has started more recently, such as in services, a sector in which new occupations are appearing. Given the industrial and occupational composition of these sectors, that robots are likely to complement engineers, product designers and managers–that is, occupations that are dominated by high-skill, more senior, and male workers. Software has a similar effect to robots, whereas ICT capital is associated with employment gains mostly for medium and low-skill workers...

#noted #riseoftherobots #globalization #2019-10-30