More companies plan to increase or maintain headcount because of automation, says report

More companies plan to increase or maintain headcount because of automation, says report

Robots are progressively taking over the manufacturing duties of humans. Automation is great for profits and productivity. However, there is concern that by the middle of this century, most people might not have a job. There are concerns that robot workers are replacing human jobs. It is a rational thing to worry about given the rise of automated solutions to many tasks traditionally carried out by humans, such as self-driving vehicles, AI customer service bots and robots doing manufacturing duties.

However, according to a recent report by ManpowerGroup titled “Humans Wanted: Robots Need You” , the actual impact automation is […]

Coping with automation

Coping with automation

The final version of the World Development Report (WDR) 2019 of the World Bank released at the end of November 2018 landed like a bombshell. It was a powerful refutation of the World Bank’s own 2016 WDR, which declared that the proportion of jobs threatened by automation was 69 per cent in India and 77 per cent in China. With such startling figures, the 2016 WDR figures stunned not only India but the entire world.

True, automation based on interrelated processes of robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) – with some secondary processes like 3D printing in manufacturing […]

Technological automation is inevitable

Technological automation is inevitable

Automation has frightened workers for over a century. Ever since the dawn of the industrial revolution, workers have feared machines may replace all human work. Mechanical muscles worked faster, stronger and tirelessly to reduce jobs, and led to efficiently cheap abundance.

However, these machines were dull, towering behemoths that could only perform simple and repetitive tasks in manufacturing or resource production. While many scholars scoff at the idea of not having a job in the future, do not be too quick to mistake this as the same situation. Technology and the internet are now involved in every facet of our […]

“Lean In” and 8 Other Bad Business Buzzwords

“Lean In” and 8 Other Bad Business Buzzwords

A take on some of the key features of the bad business utopias that are busy colonizing the future. Photo by Morsa Images/Getty Images The near future is more likely to be a neoliberal dystopia than the tech-enabled utopia conjured up by big business, writes Peter Fleming in The Worst Is Yet to Come: A Post-Capitalist Survival Guide . He argues that we need “radical pessimism” to aim for the future we actually want, and aids the effort with sardonic humor that skewers the mythologies of our exploitative economic system.

In 1949, the right-wing economist F. A. Hayek published […]

How will automation affect jobs and employment?

How will automation affect jobs and employment?

There’s an excellent piece on automation and employment in the Harvard Business Review; here are what I see as the main takeaways.

What jobs will be lost and where are they?

Yes, automation will undoubtedly create jobs – as technological change always has. The key here is the pain and opportunity will happen in ways we can predict.Jobs that are “automatable”are mostly routine, lower-skilled positions. Think logistics, manufacturing, transportation, retail, some construction and heavy industry. These jobs are more likely to be held by men, and tend to be located in inland California and many smaller southern and midwestern […]

Michael Hicks: Factory jobs are changing fast

Michael Hicks: Factory jobs are changing fast

(Photo: Photo provided by Ball State University) Manufacturing employment has enjoyed a long recovery since the darkest days of the Great Recession. As of late last year, we have a full 108,000 more factory jobs than in summer 2009, which marked the trough of the business cycle. This recovery eased some of the deep impacts of automation and trade that cost the United States and Indiana about one third of all factory jobs.

Here in Indiana, from January 2000 through the start of the Great Recession, factory employment dropped some 126,600 workers. From the December 2007 through the end of […]

Why Shoe Production May Never Come Back to the US

Why Shoe Production May Never Come Back to the US

Sneakers inside Nike’s House of Innovation 000 in NYC. Between China’s contracting manufacturing sector and the ongoing trade war between Beijing and Washington, it’s no surprise the shoe industry is speculating about the future of footwear production and whether it will eventually return to the United States.

Shoes are among the most largely imported products in the fashion industry, with about 98 percent of all footwear sold in the U.S. created abroad, according to the American Apparel & Footwear Association. Nearly three-quarters of those imports hail from China, partly due to a significantly lower cost of labor and less labor-intensive […]

Automation vs Today’s Jobs

Automation vs Today's Jobs

This – I have observed entire teams and departments that have no reason to exist except to exist. I had a manager once go "But X is doing this manually. Why are you trying to make it run automatically in the codezzzz? Don’t do it." X was a 40 year old guy who’d been doing nothing but writing SQl Queries to manually process some Invoice data and write them into tables that were used to generate reports. I was told how to streamline the process but then they didn’t want to do it cos X would […]

Where Are All of America’s Blue-Collar Workers in 2019?

Where Are All of America’s Blue-Collar Workers in 2019?

What if the problem isn’t just that “the economy” as a whole is somehow underperforming, but instead, that America has become incapable of preparing its citizens to take part in it?

In 2019, experts expect the blue-collar labor market in America to be tight, at best. So what’s going on? What forces are at play here, in the most productive and economically successful country in the world? Where have all of America’s blue-collar workers gone, and what does it mean for our country and our economy in 2019 and beyond?

Which Jobs Are Affected — and Why? Here’s a refresher […]

Embracing automation

Embracing automation

Cover design by Gina Stehl As the cover indicates, the February issue will include a focus on automation. In addition to Contributing Editor Kip Hanson’s cover story about automating CNC lathes, I wrote about the productivity gains Camcraft Inc. is realizing after installing a Makino Machining Complex (MMC2) flexible manufacturing system.

Whenever I write about companies with an FMS, which provides automated material handling via a rail-guided vehicle that transports a pallet of workpieces to a machine, I find that the companies realize growth in terms of sales, workforce and plant size. For example, Janusz Ksel, director of manufacturing for […]