About a year ago IFR (International Federation of Robotics) contracted the company Metra Martech to study the impact of robotics on employment. Typically people predict that introduction of robots result in loss of jobs. Recent publications such as the “Make it in America” by Andrew Liveris, CEO and Chairman of Dow Chemical have suggested that through adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies the industrialized nations can compete with countries where low-salary workers are responsible for the manufacturing.
The recent Metra Martech study estimates that close to 3 million jobs today are enabled by use of 1 million robots. In addition the report predicts that over the next five years another 1 million jobs will be created due to adoption of robotics technology for applications in consumer electronics, solar & wind, and advanced fuel cell technology.
Both Japan and Germany are leaders in use of robotics technology and this has resulted in increased employment in sectors such as automotive, that traditionally have been heavy users of robotics technology.
The report predicts that robots will continue to be major players in automation of factories, but that the new application areas will include elderly care and medical applications. In addition homeland security and defense will maintain its position as a high value market.