Robots Are Costing Jobs


(See my other Robot related posts) – A new study gives a better estimate of how many jobs robots are taking from humans. The study “Robots and Jobs: Evidence from US Labor Markets” was recently published. It appeared in the Journal of Political Economy. An overview, “How many jobs do robots really replace?” appeared May 4 in Science Daily.

This report is the result of work by MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and Boston University economist Pascual Restrepo. They were attempting to quantify the jobs lost due to automation and robotics.

They are not seeing a complete take-over by robots. They do see robots causing a major negative impact on jobs. They looked at the period from 1990 to 2007. They found that for each robot added, on average 3.3 workers were replaced. They also found that each robot caused an average 0.4% decline in wages.

The deployment of robots in the US lags behind Europe. During the period studied about one robot was added in the US for every 1000 workers. In Europe, the rate was 1.6 per 1000 workers. More than 50% of the robots added in the US went into the automotive and electronics industries. The automotive sector was the most affected by robots.

They also found that robots have a direct impact on income inequality. The introduction of robots has caused income to fall for blue-collar workers.


  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “How many jobs do robots really replace? New research puts a number on the job costs of automation.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2020. <>

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