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More Robots Are Taking Over Factory Jobs in the US Than in Mexico and China

Nov 09, 2016 05:05 AM EST
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Studies show that there are more robots "stealing" millions of jobs in the United States than in Mexico and China, unlike what Donald Trump is telling.

It appears that despite the new president's claims that the U.S. does not make anything anymore, the factory industry is still flourishing in America. The thing is, factories nowadays don't need a lot of people to do its functions because machines are doing all the work.

According to the New York Post, it can be remembered that America has lost more than seven million factory jobs since the employment peak in 1979. However, factory production more than doubled over the same time to $1.91 trillion last year.

This is way above the record set on the eve of the Great Recession in 2007 and makes the country the second-best manufacturer in the world next to China.

Of course, Trump and other critics are right that trade itself claimed a lot of factory jobs for manual labor. This is especially after China joined the World Trade Organization 2001 and gained easier access to the market.

Now industries that rely on heavy labor such as textile and furniture manufacturing have lost jobs to low-wage foreign competition. At this point, textile production is down 46 percent since 2000, and the textile industry has shed 366,000, or a whopping 62 percent, of jobs in the U.S.

However, it appears automation is a bigger factor than foreign trade when it comes to the loss of jobs. In fact, trade just accounted for 13 percent of lost factory jobs. The remaining 88 percent were taken by -- you guessed it -- robots and other factors.

Howard Shatz from the Rand Corp. think-tank told the New York Post, "We're making more with fewer people." For instance, General Motors just employs barely a third of the workers it had in the 1970s, but it still produces more cars and trucks.

We may have to face a harsh reality -- jobs are vanishing because robots are doing a more efficient job than us. They're cheap, they're programmed, and they barely make mistakes. And this is just the beginning.

The Boston Consulting Group predicts investment toward robots will grow 10 percent annually through 2025. This is because costs to create robots are shrinking by the minute due to investments.

Of course, this has its advantages. For instance, the increased use of robots will reduce the incentive for companies to offer low wages. Now companies are returning to the U.S. and now developing stronger ties with customers with the capital from their robot employees.

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