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IFR Press Room

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Press Releases

Post-COVID-19 Economy: “Robots Create Jobs”

MIT´s news office conclusions on economist Daron Acemoglu’s research wrong

May 14, 2020 Frankfurt Companies around the world are increasing their use of industrial robots: Within five years, the global operational stock rose by about 65% to 2.4 million units (2013-2018). For the same period of time, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a positive impact on the job market: Employment in the automotive industry – the largest adopter of robots – increased by 22% from 824,400 to 1,005,000 jobs (2013-2018).

These facts contradict the conclusions recently published by MIT´s news office on economist Daron Acemoglu´s research. Based on data between 1990 to 2007 he deduces an overall negative effect of robots on employment in blue-collar working communities in the US. Yet, recent experience in the US, Europe and Asia proves the opposite: robot adoption will likely be a critical determinant of productivity growth for the post-COVID-19 economy. These are results of the International Federation of Robotics.

“The impact of automation on employment is not in any respect different from previous waves of technology-driven change,” says Milton Guerry, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “Productivity increases and competitive advantages of automation don´t replace jobs – they will automate tasks, augment jobs and create new ones.”

OECD Research: “Ten times more productive”

Research by the OECD shows that companies that employ technology effectively are ten times more productive than those that do not. To equip the workforce with the soft skills and technical knowledge required in the post-COVID-19 economy, a tight collaboration between industry, government and educational institutions is needed. Governmental policy incentives should encourage corporate investment in training and support funding of education.

Renaissance of industrial production

Companies around the globe are reassessing their global supply chain business models in reaction to the lessons learned from coronavirus. This will likely accelerate the introduction of robots, leading to a renaissance of industrial production in some regions – and bringing back jobs. After the crisis, IFR expects a considerable boost for robotics and automation, even if the industry cannot currently decouple itself from the economic downturn.

Press contact

econNEWSnetwork
Carsten Heer
phone +49 (0) 40 822 44 284
E-Mail: [email protected]

Downloads

“Robots and Jobs” - IFR positioning paper The impact of Robots on Productivity, Employment and Jobs

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Press Photos

Wire Cutting

© FANUC

A FANUC Robot LR Mate 200iD is loading a WireCut EDM machine

Collaborative Robot

© ABB

YUMI is ABB's collaborative robot on the market

Electronics industry

© ABB

Robots at assembly line in the electronics industry

Automotive welding

© ABB

Robots welding car chassis in the automotive industry

Automotive welding

© ABB

Robots welding parts in the automotive industry

UR5 - A highly flexible robot arm

© Universal Robots

Trelleborg uses UR5 robots (payload 5kg) to carry out machine tending mainly on CNC machines

UR3 - ultra-flexible table-top robot

© Universal Robots

MARKA uses UR3 robots (payload 3kg) to screw drive the caps on its own-brand consumer goods. Accuracy and reliability were the crucial factors for the investment.

Cheese Handling

© Staubli

Cutting and Handling of Cheese

Automotive

© Staubli

Automotives - Automation

Programming

© YASKAWA

Using the teach pendant for programming, or touch up of previously made offline programs.

Printing

© CoolGraphics/Yaskawa

MOTOMAN dual arm robot in a co‐worker robot cell. The robot separates, airs and moves stacks of printed paper sheets after the printing process.

Labrobot

© YASKAWA

The MOTOMAN dual arm robot in a biomedical cell where it performs all the necessary tasks in a laboratory environment.

Cleanfix

© BlueBotics 2017

Cleanfix - RA 660 - ANT driven cleaning a floor

ANT driven AGV

© BlueBotics 2017

AGV Scandinavia - ANT driven forklift

Press Contact IFR

Carsten Heer

IFR Press Inquiries


Phone: +49 40-822 44 284
E-Mail: press(at)ifr.org

Dr. Susanne Bieller

IFR General Secretary

Lyoner Str. 18
DE-60528 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 69-6603-1502
E-Mail: secretariat(at)ifr.org