Is Globalization or is Technology destroying more jobs?

trump

Could last Friday’s weak U.S. job numbers help make this man president of the United States?

Many Americans believe that China and Mexico are responsible for their job losses. There is no doubt that some industries like apparel & electronics require cheap labor costs and companies have moved production overseas. I also believe that the majority of illegal immigrants (Mexicans) are working at low paying jobs that Americans don’t want. (Even Canadian farmers hire temporary workers from Mexico during planting & harvest season).

Economists around the world believe that globalization has more benefits than detriments. Long term, higher wages in poor countries should theoretically increase spending and help spur global economic growth. Wages in China are going up causing a slowdown in their manufacturing boom. In fact, some illegal immigrants are moving back to Mexico because of higher wages.

Advances in technology has created a large number of new jobs but many of those jobs are unfilled. The major problem is employers find it difficult to find workers with the appropriate skill levels. The education system is really behind the curve in preparing young people to enter the job market. No real surprise that the participation rate is falling as the unemployed are giving up looking for work.

The automotive industry has been well-known for its intensive use of robotic arms for assembly, welding and painting of cars. Many other industries have adopted robotic arms into their manufacturing process. Advances in automation has eliminated an estimated 30% of all manufacturing jobs. Developments in 3D printing could allow consumers to make a variety of products beyond just toys, jewelry and novelty items.

robot2

Technology has destroyed a number jobs in many sectors. It is obvious that on-line shopping has really hurt brick & mortar retailers. Retailers have cut full-time staff and reduce costs by hiring more part-time seasonal personal. A large number of book, music and video stores have simply disappeared. Netflix and other low-cost streaming services has really hurt jobs in media, cable and the music industry. Facebook and Google have captured the majority of advertising  dollars which has reduced revenue and job opportunities in radio, television and print media.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many fake reality shows on cable? Production costs are so much cheaper than producing quality programing. Networks have less ad revenue to paid wages for real actors, writers and directors.  

Thanks to ATMs, internet banking, direct deposit and mobile banking apps, bank branches don’t have as many tellers or people waiting in line. The rise of Robo-Advisors will further reduce bank staff over time. I wouldn’t be shocked to find a decline in the number of bank branches in the near future.

Smartphones have reduced the need for buying cameras, voice recorders, camera film, photo albums, alarm clocks, GPS’s, video cameras, calculators, flashlights, landline phones, watches, calendars, note pads, newspapers, books and even credit cards. I wonder how many jobs have been lost because of the popularity of smartphones.

The oil and gas industry used to drill five wells in order to get one producing well. Today’s drilling technology enables 100% success rate in finding oil and gas. Plus fracking technology has allowed oil companies to maximize oil and gas extraction.

Will future improvements in artificial intelligence enable robots to replace human workers?

robot   robot1

What do you think, Globalization or Technology to blame for job losses.

 

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3 thoughts on “Is Globalization or is Technology destroying more jobs?

  1. Good post. If anything in this world is constant, it is change. And with change comes opportunity. Unfortunately, change is really hard for some people to accept let alone do. I personally am an advocate of free enterprise / market. Either you go where the jobs are or develop the skills / knowledge to get a new one. Even if you stay in the same field like me (IT/Tech), constant reading and learning is essential or your skills go stale or worse, antiquated.

    Like

  2. Nice post. A good set of examples where it is actually technology that is taking away jobs. I also think we have seen nothing yet. Artificial Intelligence is only starting. Looking at what Watson already can do is scary. It is better at curing cancer than doctors, I also read that it is better at basic legal advice than a general lawyer. want to analyse a data set: just throw it at Watson. Not to mention the Google Deepmind bot that learns how to play games and beats any world champion!
    That is my worry, not the globalisation as such.

    Liked by 1 person

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