Are Robots Taking Too Many Jobs?

Feb. 6, 2024
Automation World was recently invited to appear on Southern California Public Radio's LAist AirTalk program to discuss the realities around the impact of increasing automation use—particularly robots—on industry's workforce.

The LAist AirTalk program, broadcast by Southern California Public Radio on 89.3 FM in the Los Angeles area, invited me to take part in a discussion about robots replacing human workers in manufacturing. This segment on the program stemmed from a recent The Wall Street Journal article—Robots Are Looking Better to Detroit as Labor Costs Rise.

Host Larry Mantle also invited Ben Armstrong, executive director of MIT’s Industrial Performance Center and co-lead of MIT’s Work of the Future Initiative to join the discussion.

Mantle noted that he was surprised by the discussion in that he had expected to hear how robots are displacing humans in significant numbers across manufacturing. However, both Ben and I pointed out that the jobs robots are taking tend to be the ones that humans are not exactly lining up for—due to repetitive stress injuries and other dangers—as well as how automation is actually increasing manufacturing employment in the U.S. by enabling viable reshoring and creating new jobs for automation technicians that can often be obtained without a four-year university degree. 

Listen to the AirTalk segment: