Is more automation the answer to the labor shortage? Would it cause people to lose their jobs? And what would it mean for society at-large? 1,100 people were asked their feelings on robots and automation in the workplace, reports Furniture Today.
The majority of Americans (88%) are not worried about losing their job to a robot. However, two in three are worried that robots will make others lose their jobs. The workers most worried about being replaced by robots are those working in tech/IT, manufacturing and retail industries.
More than one in 10 (12%) respondents have worked or previously worked in the manufacturing industry. Among them, nearly one in five (18%) are worried about robots taking their jobs. Census data shows 26% of manufacturing workers have already worked with robots on the job.
Most Americans are unclear about what to make of robots. Nearly half (45%) of those surveyed said they were unsure if they could trust robots. 41% trust robots and 14% do not trust them at all.
Despite America’s uncertainty, a large majority (84%) acknowledged that robots can be helpful by filling staffing shortages, a problem many industries are facing right now. The majority also believe robots can make work safer for humans by filling less desirable jobs and work shifts (i.e. holidays/overnights), as well as physically taxing jobs.
Right now, 79% of Americans feel humans are not too reliant on robots, but 67% feel humans will become too reliant on robots in the future. Nearly one-third (29%) of Americans admitted they think robots could take over the world someday.
Robots are already a reality in many manufacturing plants. According to data released in 2022 from the U.S. Census Bureau, Iowa currently has the plants with the most robots in the nation; 18.6% plants in the state have them.
Michigan, a state well-known for its automotive manufacturing, ranked second followed by Kansas (third), Wisconsin (fourth) and Minnesota (fifth).
The manufacturing fields with the most robots are transportation equipment, plastics and rubber products, electrical equipment, appliance and component, primary metal and machinery.
Survey respondents were split between male and female, and aged between 18 to 84. The average age was 39. 12% work or previously worked in the manufacturing industry, 12% work in tech/IT, 8% in health, 7% in education and 7% in retail. Others worked in finance, business and communication industries or were unemployed or in school.
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Source: Furniture Today