Fact of the Week: European Manufacturers Added Five New Workers for Every Robot They Deployed From 1995 to 2015

Caleb Foote March 2, 2020
March 2, 2020

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Source: David Klenert, Enrique Fernández-Macías, and José-Ignacio Antón, “Do robots really destroy jobs? Evidence from Europe,” JRC Working Papers Series on Labour, Education and Technology 2020/01, European Commission Joint Research Centre.

Commentary: The growth of artificial intelligence has stoked fears that industries beyond manufacturing could be significantly automated. This underscores the need to study the evidence about modern automation, especially because the facts frequently contradict common concerns. A new study does precisely this, finding that, rather than eliminate the need for human workers, the use of industrial robots in the European Union actually increased overall employment by an average of five workers per robot between 1995 and 2015—and it did so without reducing employment for low-skill workers.