Robots are Coming

It’s intuitive that automation will take low-wage jobs.

But the White House, in its annual economic report of the president, has broken down just how much that is so. 

There’s an 83% chance that automation will take a job with an hourly wage below $20, a 31% chance automation will take a job with an hourly wage between $20 and $40, and just a 4% chance automation will take a job with an hourly wage above $40.

The White House used the same data that underlines other research in the field of labor and robots to arrive at the conclusion.

The key question is what happens when a robot takes one of these low-wage jobs. 

Traditionally, innovation leads to higher income, more consumption and more jobs, but the question is whether the current pace of automation may in the shorter term increase inequality. 

One study found that higher levels of robot density within an industry lead to higher wages in that industry, the White House notes. 

However, that could be because the absence of lower-skills biases wage estimates upwards.

The White House says the findings demonstrate the need for training and education to help displaced workers find new jobs.

In other parts of the world... for instance, British high streets and factories will be transformed over the next two decades as millions of jobs are replaced by robots, a new report warns. 

Eleven million jobs across the UK economy are at high risk of being automated by 2036, with the retail and transport sectors most vulnerable, according to Deloitte. 

It came as Sir Roger Carr, the chairman of BAE Systems, warned that humans could become “mere spectators” to their destruction unless governments do more to police the development of autonomous weapons. 

Deloitte, one of the "Big Four" accountancy firms, said rapid advances in technology and the popularity of online shopping meant more than 2m jobs in the wholesale and retail sector - or almost 60pc of the current retail workforce - had a high chance of being automated by 2036. 

Experts warned that self-checkouts and shelves stacked by robots would become a common sight in UK shops, with the pace of automation "likely to accelerate". 

Factory workers also face being replaced en-masse, the report said. A total of 1.5m jobs in the transport sector - or 74pc of the current workforce - are at high risk of automation in the next 20 years.

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