How Robots Change the World

Over the past decade, a robotics revolution has captured the world’s imagination. As their capabilities expand, so does the rate at which industries purchase and install these increasingly intelligent machines. Since 2010, the global stock of industrial robots has more than doubled—and innovations in engineering and machine learning portend an accelerated adoption of robots in service sector occupations over the next five years.
This report sheds new light on both the current impact of robots on manufacturing jobs around the world and the potential for robots to transform the much larger (but as-yet far less automated) global services sector. To evaluate the implications of this ongoing robot revolution, we have brought together the combined expertise of Oxford Economics’ economists, econometricians, modellers, and subject-matter experts.
The rise of robots has already had a profound effect on industrial employment around the world: today, approximately one of every three new manufacturing robots is being installed in China, the world’s great workshop. Our econometric modelling finds that on average each newly installed robot displaces 1.6 manufacturing workers. By 2030, we estimate that as many as 20 million additional manufacturing jobs worldwide could be displaced due to robotization.

Date Published: 26th June 2019
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