Automation unemployment

Topics: Unemployment, Barack Obama, Structural unemployment Pages: 11 (2922 words) Published: April 20, 2014
Background
The word ‘automation’ was translated as ‘self-dictating’ in ancient Greek. “It refers to any process or function which is self-driven and reduces, then eventually eliminates the need for human intervention.” said by Ankit Kumar Srivastava (Srivastav, 2013) With the development of technology, the US president, Barack Obama argued, in June 22, 2011, that the automation would cause some unemployment in a way. While, the opposite side like Milton Friedman came up with lot of drawbacks of low-level technology to the society.

Objectives
There are three objectives in this report. The first one is to find the history of automation and its reason. Then the second one is to search the development of automation and different arguments in the world. Finally the third one is to illustrate the overview of job market in the near future and to compare the difference between previous and current situation.

Scope
This report explores the automation unemployment under the argument raised by Obama. That reveals the impacts of automation of our lives and the argument of automation suggests the development of technology caused contradiction between the employment and the innovation as well. Nonetheless, this essay will not investigate further issues for robots appliance. In addition, this report primarily focuses on developed and developing countries, but will not cover situation in undeveloped countries.

Procedure
This report includes primary resources, statistics, secondary resources, newspaper articles and others in total 26 sources. Most of these resources were chosen because of its reliability and relevance since some of them are from government website and others are from famous people’s blog like Martin. The earliest resource was published in 1967 and the latest one was in year 2013.

Findings
The objective 1:
What it is?
Automation is the use of controlled systems such as using ATM to replace a human teller to provide service. It involves using computer to control machinery and processes in all kinds of industries, thus replacing human labor. (Srivastav, 2013)

Does it come to our life?
Just as the author William Gibson asserted, “The future is here, but it is not evenly distributed yet.” (McAfee, 2013) The evidence of the statistics suggests the phenomenon –falling employment – is happening at the US wireless industry, at least in part because of “gains in productivity and the fact that more customers were going online to choose their phone and pay their bills, reducing the need for more call-center workers and salespeople.” (McAfee, 2013)

Hence, it seems that a new trend of technological unemployment might rise.
Is it the same in different countries?
Its development in developed country is slightly different in other countries. In developed countries, a large amount of automation in the service sector which now employs the majority of workers plays a pivotal role in the job market. (Fri, 2011) For example, toll collectors got replaced by E-ZPass, telephone switchboard operators lost their jobs to automated switching, and Auto workers were replaced by robots in American. (Fri, 2011)

In contrast, the impact of the trend in developing countries will be reflected mainly in manufacturing and factories. For example, Taiwan-based Foxconn-one of the major electronics producers around the world and an important employer in China-recently announced that they plan to introduce huge numbers of sophisticated manufacturing robots into factories, with number being nearly 20.000. (Fri, 2011)

What phase we are at?
Robert Heilbroner, a well-known economist who wrote a widely read book on economic history (“The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers”) warned, “As machines continue to invade society … it is human labor itself — at...


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