The US service-sector jobs at risk from a robot revolution

Sam Fleming for Financial Times:  When Andy Puzder, chief executive of restaurant chains Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s, said in March that rising employment costs could drive the spread of automation in the fast-food sector, he tapped into a growing anxiety in the US.

From touchscreen ordering systems to burger-flipping robots and self-driving trucks, automation is stalking an increasing number of professions in the country’s service sector, which employs the vast majority of the workforce.

Two-fifths of US employees are in occupations where at least half their time is spent doing activities that could be automated by adapting technology already available, according to research from the McKinsey Global Institute. These include the three biggest occupations in the country: retail salespeople, store cashiers and workers preparing and serving food, collectively totalling well over 10m people.

Yet evidence of human obsolescence is conspicuous by its absence in the US’s economic statistics. The country is in the midst of its longest private-sector hiring spree on record, adding 14.4m jobs over 73 straight months, and productivity grew only 1.4 per cent a year from 2007 to 2014, compared with 2.2 per cent from 1953 to 2007. Those three big occupations all grew 1-3 per cent from 2014 to 2015.  Cont'd...

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

Destaco’s PNEUMATIC PARALLEL GRIPPERS - RTH & RDH

Destaco's PNEUMATIC PARALLEL GRIPPERS - RTH & RDH

Destaco's Robohand RDH/RTH Series 2 and 3 jaw parallel grippers have a shielded design that deflects chips and other particulate for a more reliable, repeatable operation in part gripping applications ranging from the small and lightweight, to the large and heavy. RDH Series of Rugged, Multi-Purpose Parallel Grippers for Heavy Parts - Designed for high particulate application environments, automotive engine block, gantry systems, and ideal for heavy part gripping The series includes eight sizes for small lightweight to large/heavy part gripping. RTH Series of Powerful, Multi-Purpose Parallel Grippers for Heavy Parts - Designed for large round shaped parts, automotive engine block and gantry systems, and heavy part gripping. They're available in eight sizes for small lightweight to large and heavy part gripping.