Six local jobs are eliminated by every robot added to the workforce. Sounds like science fiction but the National Bureau of Economic Research says it's so in their report released this week. Based on research from 1990 to 2007, the report estimated that 670,000 manufacturing jobs were eliminated during the period.
Are we looking at a near future where Director of Robot Resources becomes a more important position than Director of Human Resources?
We are in a time of radical change in the world and in the workforce. America's largest generation, the Baby Boomers, is retiring at an estimated pace of 10,000 per day. Dependable middle-class jobs, the type held by blue-collar workers with high school degrees, are going away. In our current American political environment, we are divided in blaming immigrants, job outsourcing and foreign trade deals for the loss of those jobs.
Technology, manifested by not just robots but computerized automation in every field and enterprise, is certainly a root cause. There is fear and anger across the land.
Human resources may be more important than ever as we seek to find our place in a changing world. Helping people understand, train and adapt to the new rules is a vital role. The first step is acknowledging what is happening so we can help our teams prepare and find their way.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, a former Wall Street banker dismisses the trend as something that will not become significant for another 50 to 100 years. Mark Cuban, an incredibly successful Internet entrepreneur and Shark Tank star, had a terse response to the denial:
We can't stop the robots but we can improve how we humans work together. Here's a course you can try free: