March of the robots hits jobs in poorer areas and manufacturing

A study by UK consultancy firm Oxford Economics suggests that the use of robots in the UK’s poorer regions has triggered the loss of almost twice as many jobs as in wealthier areas.

Cumbria is the UK region most at risk from job losses due to robotic automation, and also parts of the West Midlands, while London and the South-East are most insulated, says the consultancy.

According to the report ‘How Robots Change the World – What automation really means for jobs and productivity’, the rate of ‘robotisation’ is increasing rapidly, with the number of industrial robots more than doubling since 2000, with each new robot installation displacing 1.6 manufacturing jobs.

The report found that around 1.7m manufacturing jobs around the world have been lost to robots since 2010, with up to 400,000 jobs lost in in Europe, 260,000 in the US and 550,000 in China. The study suggests up to 20m manufacturing job losses by 2030.

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