Robots Are Taking Over Jobs, but there is no reason to worry yet
One might easily think that robots are causing significant disruption in the labor market by replacing human workers, especially when considering examples like chatbots serving as more efficient customer service representatives or computer programs handling package tracking and transportation without human intervention. According to a study by Eric Dahlin, a sociology professor at Brigham Young University, there is no need to fear an imminent robot takeover of jobs. Dahlin’s research suggests that the rate at which robots are replacing humans is not as high as many people believe and that people tend to greatly overestimate the extent to which robots are taking over the workforce.
The study, recently published in the journal Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, found that only 14% of workers say they’ve seen their job replaced by a robot. But those who have experienced job displacement due to a robot overstate the effect of robots taking jobs from humans by about three times.To understand the relationship between job loss and robots, Dahlin surveyed nearly 2,000 individuals about their perceptions of jobs being replaced by robots. Respondents were first asked to estimate the percentage of employees whose employers have replaced jobs with robots. They were then asked whether their employer had ever replaced their job with a robot.Those who had been replaced by a robot (about 14%), estimated that 47% of all jobs have been taken over by robots. Similarly, those who hadn’t experienced job replacement still estimated that 29% of jobs have been supplanted by robots.