The rise of the robots will boost productivity, economic growth, and it will lead to the creation of new jobs in yet-to-exist industries. But existing business models in many sectors will be seriously disrupted and millions of existing jobs will be lost. Oxford Economics estimates up to 20 million manufacturing jobs are set to be lost to robots by 2030.
The effects of these job losses will vary greatly across countries and regions, with a disproportionate toll on lower-skilled workers and on poorer local economies. In lower-skilled regions, robots lead to almost twice as many manufacturing job losses. In many places, the impact will aggravate social and economic stress in times when political polarization is a worrying trend.