The job market is shifting as technology is taking over jobs. Some jobs are going away and others will be in greater demand. The big concern with losing jobs to machines is among the less educated classes. So much manufacturing has become automated that only about a fourth of current human employees are needed. Most production can be done by a machine. There are benefits for the company but less opportunity for the employees. This almost amounts to a domino effect.
If factory workers are no longer doing the manufacturing because technology has taken over their jobs, then they don’t have the income to buy much. More jobs are lost due to drops in retail sales. Furthermore, many retailers are moving to automated check-out systems. These self serve lines really only need one employee per four lines or so to handle little glitches. More jobs lost.
Even healthcare has the potential to let technology take over jobs. Robots can deliver medicine and help with physical therapy. Robots can run activities in a nursing home. Technology monitors blood pressure and other vitals. Telemetry monitors bad hearts. In many ways, it’s frightening how much technology can do for us.
What does all this mean? There will be a shift in the job market. Maybe even a wider gap between the working poor and the educated wealthy. Certainly, engineers will be in demand as more products are needed to do the jobs and save companies money. As the educated class becomes more wealthy, there will be greater demand for builders, electricians, plumbers and landscapers. But there are still some things that simply require a human being.
Some predict that the next generation of workers will primarily fill kinds of blue collar jobs, and they will make less money than their parents. They’ll also save more money. That means less spending. We’ll need more technology to do more jobs cheaply to handle the further drop in retail income.