A new report by Oxford Economics, a UK-based research firm, has begun to study the impact of automation on the future of various industries.

According to their recent report, robots and other automated machines will replace humans in more than 20 million jobs around the world by the time we reach 2030.

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20 million jobs. That works out at one robot per 1.6 jobs.

The global stock of industrial robots has more than doubled since 2010, with China taking up around one-fifth of the world’s current stock. By 2030, Oxford Economics expects China to have at least 14 million industrial robots at work.

Mr James Lambert, one of the lead authors of the study, adds: “We expect the number in use to reach 20 million by 2030 – about 10 times the number now.”

Which regions are most at risk?

Poorest regions are most at risk from this impact, because they tend to have weaker economies and already-high unemployment rates. So these are areas where most workers are low skilled and therefore most easily replaced.

Automation can also open up new job roles

Although the thought of increased economic inequality and political polarisation is a scary thought, it’s not all bad news.

This kind of automation will also create new jobs and opportunities, including higher paid roles for those that are employed in them.

It’s also good news for the global economy – The report predicted that a 30 per cent rise in robot installations above its baseline forecast for 2030 would add US$4.9 trillion to the global economy that year, equivalent to an economy greater than the projected size of Germany’s in that year.

Which industries are least at risk?

It is predicted that human roles will never be defunct. There will always be a need for human influence, especially in jobs that require creativity, empathy or social intelligence.

But as mentioned above, many new job roles are expected to arise in future, alongside the rise in robot automation.

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