jobs lost to automation statistics
By Elma Mrkonjić | December 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

24 Alarming Jobs Lost to Automation Statistics

The rise of modern technology has impacted workers in various ways. Jobs lost to automation statistics uncover shocking figures. The 2020 stats estimate that nearly a quarter of jobs in the US are threatened by AI and robots. On the other hand, advanced hardware and software helped designers, engineers, and other white-collar workers to increase their productivity.

But blue-collar workers have faced the most challenging times. A vast number of factory workers, customer service agents, receptions, and other sorts of employees have been replaced by automation. It can’t be denied that some employees suffer automation more severely than others, the most vulnerable positions being those occupied by low-wage and male workers. 

Top Technology Taking Over Jobs Statistics and Facts (Editor’s Choice)

  • 25% of jobs are at considerable risk of automation.
  • Robots could replace 8.5% of the global labor force.
  • There are 2.25 million robots in the global labor force now.
  • According to estimates, 1.5 million jobs in the US will be lost to automation by 2030. 
  • Waiters and waitresses are at 73% risk of losing their jobs due to automation in the UK.
  • The number of industrial robots has increased by 400% since the 1990s.
  • 10.4 million jobs in the United Kingdom will be automated by 2030.
  • 54% of medical assistants might be replaced by robots.

Jobs Lost to Robots Statistics and Facts

1. An astounding 236 million jobs in China will disappear due to AI and robots.

(World Economic Forum)

It’s no secret that robots are seizing humans’ jobs, and a growing number of factories are importing them. This specifically applies to factories that produce vehicles, home appliances, gadgets, etc. The leader among the countries that are replacing their workers this way is China. 

Technology taking over jobs statistics reveal that a huge number of jobs in China will vanish throughout the next decade. This implies that 236 million professionals will have to seek another vocation. In Germany, that number is significantly smaller, amounting to “only” 14 million. 

2. By 2030, 73 million jobs in the US will die out.   

(World Economic Forum)

It’s not only jobs in China that are about to go extinct. The US will see 73 million jobs lost to automation by 2030. The same fate will befall 120 million jobs in India and 30 million in Japan. Mexico will face 18 million job losses. 

3. 45–60% of EU employees might lose their jobs because of automation.

(European Commission)

According to job automation statistics, up to two-thirds of employees in the European Union may be replaced by AI and robots. Even though such forecasts may seem gloomy, this may turn out to be much better than expected.

4. Approximately 96% of employees at risk of job loss may find a better job.

(European Commission)

The effect of automation on jobs doesn’t always have to be adverse. Nearly all workers who are at risk of losing their job because of automation have a great chance to find a better one. Closing the Skill Gap 2020 program seeks to reskill 10 million people bound to lose their job. Such a plan will enable workers to gain additional skills and knowledge. In turn, they will be able to apply for better-paying jobs.

5. The need for advanced programming and IT skills will increase by 90% by 2030.

(European Commission)

The impact of automation on the employment of IT experts is massive. AI and automation are rapidly increasing the need for advanced IT and software development skills. Throughout the next decade, the demand for these skills will skyrocket by 90% compared to 2016. Similarly, the need for basic digital skills will rise by 69% in the US and 65% in the EU. On the other hand, the demand for fundamental cognitive, manual, and physical skills will drop.

6. On average, 25% of jobs will change because of automation.

(European Commission)

Automation of jobs statistics indicate that not only will some professions vanish, but duties and tasks will have to be modified. More precisely, besides the professions bound to disappear by 2030, 50–70% of assignments will considerably change due to automation trends.  

7. AI might help US corporations save $1 trillion by 2030. 

(Slash Gear)

AI has immense potential when it comes to the finance sector. More precisely, jobs replaced by automation may enable companies to save $1 trillion in productivity gains and reduced expenses due to lower employment figures. Likewise, 30% of the business industry might be significantly affected, especially the positions of insurance agents and investment management jobs. 

8. 54% of medical assistants may lose their jobs to AI by 2030.

(Revcycle Intelligence)

Robots or AI could hardly replace highly skilled medical staff. But common illnesses shouldn’t be much of a problem for AI. Similarly, STAR (the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot) is able to carry out simple surgical procedures more accurately than surgeons. Also, 29% of nurses may face a loss of jobs due to automation by 2030, as well as 54% of medical assistants.

Automation in Manufacturing Stats and Facts

jobs lost to automation statistics 1

9. Robots could replace 8.5% of the global labor force.

(U.S. News)

AI is steadily and rather rapidly taking over an array of jobs that humans do. The global workforce is bound to face a colossal number of job losses. By 2030, automation will replace as many as 20 million jobs worldwide, as AI replacing jobs statistics disclose. This figure accounts for 8.5% of the international workforce. China only will see the replacement of 14 million jobs.    

10. China accounts for approximately 20% of robots across the world.

(U.S. News)

The largest country in Asia boasts of the greatest number of robots in the world, accounting for 20% of the total number. Since 2004, every new robot in the manufacturing and industry sector has replaced a median of 1.6 employees, as automation and job loss statistics indicate.

11. The overall number of robots around the world amounts to 2.25 million.

(Oxford Economics)

Presently, the world industries of all sorts see 2.25 million robots. This number has doubled since the previous decade and increased three times since 2000. By the next decade, it may reach 20 million, with 14 million in China only. 

12. According to estimates, 1.5 million jobs in the US will be lost to automation by 2030. 

(U.S. News)

Job losses due to automation stats predict that more than 1.5 million job positions will be obsolete because of robots and AI. The EU is bound to lose about 2 million job positions, while China will lose a staggering 12.5 million jobs. South Korea will lose 800,000, while automation will replace 3 million jobs in other countries. 

13. The expenses of making robots dropped by 11% between 2011 and 2016.

(U.S. News)

Technology replacing jobs statistics show that the cost of automation has decreased significantly. Making robots is now cheaper than ever. Microchips’ processing power, smarter networks, and improved battery life have drastically impacted the manufacturing cost of robots. 

14. Around 400,000 jobs in US factories became obsolete due to automation between 1990 and 2007.

(Time)

Machines have been making jobs obsolete for centuries, and factories are no exception. According to automation in manufacturing statistics, around 400,000 job positions were lost because of automation between 1990 and 2007.  

15. 42% of jobs are forever lost due to coronavirus. 

(Time)

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has urged companies to rely on automation to avoid the spreading of the virus. At the peak of the pandemic, about 40 million jobs were lost. Even though a significant number of jobs will come back after the pandemic is over, many won’t. Jobs lost to automation statistics suggest that 42% of jobs are gone for good.

16. A company spending $100 on equipment has to pay around $3 in taxes. 

(Time)

The US government is doing its best to encourage businesses to automate by offering them tax relief whenever they purchase machinery or software. For the sake of comparison, a company that pays an employee $100 has to pay $30 in taxes. But a company that spends $100 on equipment pays only $3 in taxes.

Who is at the Greatest Danger of Job Loss to AI and Automation?

jobs lost to automation statistics 2

17. 7.4% of UK employees are at significant risk of losing their job. 

(BBC News)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) examined the status of 20 million employees in the UK. The study found that the percentage of jobs at risk of automation amounted to 7.4%. This figure signifies that, out of 20 million respondents, nearly 1.5 million were at high risk of being replaced by AI and robots. 

18. Waiters are 73% more likely to be replaced by robots. 

(BBC News)

Can you imagine that, in just a few years, you will no longer be served by human staff in a restaurant or a bar? Namely, 73% of waiters and waitresses are prone to replacement due to automation in years to come. Although jobs lost to robots statistics aren’t favorable for waiters, they are just a portion of 1.5 million people in the UK who are at high risk of losing their jobs to AI. Other professions from the same high-risk group are shelf fillers, bar staff, and primary sales occupations.

19. Medical practitioners in the UK have an 18% chance of losing their jobs to automation.

(BBC News)

The figures are more friendly for medical practitioners. Robots taking over jobs statistics show that less than one-fifth of them are likely to be replaced by robots. The same applies to dental practitioners (21%), secondary and higher education teachers (21% and 20%, respectively), and senior professionals in education (20%).

20. 15.7% of people aged 20–24 are at risk of losing their jobs to automation. 

(BBC News)

No matter how odd it may sound, young people are more likely to be replaced by robots, as jobs lost to automation statistics show. Namely, nearly 16% of youngsters aged 20-24 may be replaced, as opposed to people aged 30-35 who have only a 1.3% chance to be replaced by robots. 

21. 20% of Amazon’s workforce might be robots.

(BBC News)

Three years ago, Amazon introduced over a whopping 50,000 new robots. This figure represents a 100% jump compared to 2016. Nowadays, estimations assume that robots make up one-fifth of the company’s workforce.

22. The number of industrial robots has increased by 400% since the 1990s.   

(European Commission)

Automation in manufacturing statistics reveal an incredible jump in the use of AI and robots in different industries. Namely, over 25 years ago, the number of industrial robots in the European Union amounted to 95,000. Now that figure has risen to 430,000, denoting an increase of 400% over a quarter of a century. In Germany only, 40% of those robots are currently used. 

23. 10.4 million UK jobs will be automated by 2030.

(European Commission)

Automation job loss statistics show that nearly 30% of jobs in the UK are bound to be automated in the next 10 years. This implies that 10.4 million jobs will see robots and AI instead of human workers by 2030. The most affected workers will be those who don’t have a higher level of education. 

24. Non-white workers are over 40% at risk of losing their job.

(CNBC)

Non-white employees will undoubtedly experience dire consequences of loss of jobs due to automation. African Americans are at 43.8% risk of being replaced, similarly to Hispanic workers with 47.3% at risk of job loss. Asians, on the other hand, are the least likely to be replaced (38.8%). 

Jobs Lost to Automation Statistics—Conclusion

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, automation has been replacing humans. Even though the working class people feared for their jobs at the beginning, technological progress has undoubtedly benefited society. Soon after, no one was worried about the negative impact of innovations on people’s jobs.

However, workers have begun to see jobs lost to automation since 1980. One of the typical professions at the time, the elevator operator, was replaced by buttons installed in the elevators. Nowadays, a colossal number of job positions are at risk of becoming obsolete. According to projections, 1.5 million workers will lose their jobs to automation over the next 10 years in the US. 

On the flip side, nearly all workers bound to be replaced will get a chance to apply for better positions. Closing the Skills Gap 2020 is a program specially dedicated to helping workers acquire new skills that will help them find a better job.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

In the US only, about 1.5 million jobs will be replaced by robots and AI by 2030. China will see 14 million jobs taken over by automation. In the UK, that figure amounts to several hundreds of thousands. At the global level, that figure will amount to 20 million. The most endangered are minimum to low-wage jobs, mainly in manufacturing. Also, waiters and waitresses, bar staff, shelf fillers, hotel receptionists, and some medical assistants are at a high risk of being replaced.

In the past two decades, 1.7 million manufacturing jobs have been replaced; 400,000 in Europe, 260,00 in the US, and 550,000 in China. So far, robots and AI have taken over manufacturing and factory jobs, but experts predict that a range of other professions will be replaced by 2020. The most threatened are bar and restaurant staff, shelf fillers, medical assistants and nurses, hotel staff, and customer support. 

According to stats, around 40% of jobs in the US will be automated by 2030. Besides low-wage, production, and factory jobs (most of which have already been automated), this percentage encompasses jobs such as office support, food service, community services, retail and sales, and mechanical installations and repairs. For the time being, the safest are professions like medical practitioners, primarily physicians and surgeons, dental practitioners, secondary and higher education teachers, and senior education professionals.

Automation of jobs stats show that a range of positions will be fully automated by 2030. Those are mainly blue-collar and low-wage jobs related to warehousing and production, as well as retail and delivery service positions. Most of them require little to no specific skills or knowledge. Some of them go as follows:

  • Warehouse and manufacturing jobs
  • Customer service
  • Pharmaceutical discovery
  • Research and data entry
  • Local TV advertising
  • Banking services
  • Retail checkout
  • Outbound sales
  • Fast-food service
  • Long-haul trucking
  • Delivery services

Jobs that will be safe from robots and AI in the near future include those that involve working with people. The great majority of them require exquisite people and communication skills, as well as an array of so-called soft skills. Besides, as they demand a high level of knowledge and expertise, robots are highly unlikely to perform such roles in the near future. According to jobs lost to automation statistics, social care professionals, occupational therapists, social workers, medical and dental practitioners, teachers, and nutritionists aren’t likely to be automatized soon.

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