Robots to the rescue amid the labor crisis?

By Scoop
May 31, 2022 · less than 3 min read

Employers are struggling to find workers – and automation could offer a quick fix.   

Aye, robot 

So, more good news: There’s a labor crisis going on. Many employers across the States are struggling to find workers to fill gaps, with job openings hitting a record high of 11.5 million back in March. And we’ve seen the impact these shortages are having; just look at the air travel industry, or retail. With less labor comes lower output, and that’s bad news.  

The answer then, could be with R2D2, Optimus Prime, WALL-E and co. Okay, maybe not exactly those fellas, but many are looking to automation as a solution. Orders for robots increased by a giant 40% in Q1, and the Wall Street Journal now estimates the value of the robot industry at $1.6 billion.  

Short-term solution, long-term problem?  

We’re currently sitting in the tightest job market since the Second World War, so it’s understandable that businesses are doing whatever they can to plug the labor gaps. But could the short-term solution of automation spell trouble for jobs in the long term? Robots don’t take lunch breaks, after all… 

“Automation, if it goes very fast, can destroy a lot of jobs,” Daron Acemoglu, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told the WSJ. Here’s hoping that our robot friends can provide enough support to see us through the labor crisis, without putting us all out of work. Our advice? Start saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to Siri and Alexa. Robots talk, you know.   

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