Unemployment Situations in Developed Economies
Ideally, the automation of robotics can be grouped into three categories, fixed, programmable and flexible. In the installation of the three types engineers are likely to come across several challenges. Fixed automation involves fixedly configuring the operations and processes within the equipment. The fixed automation work through programmed commands that are integrated into the machines in the form of hardware such as wiring, gears, and cams. Installing this type of automation come with several consequences. First, it is difficult to change the automation to suit the processing of another product. Secondly, successful installation and implementation demand high investment, and therefore, it is only suitable for high volume product manufacturing plants. Programmable automation is suitable for the manufacturing firms producing goods in batches. This automation type is a bit costly and may result in errors because for every batch the automation has to be reprogrammed. Flexible automation is almost similar to programmable automation. However, the flexible automation is advantageous over programmable automation because there is no loss of production time and it less costly as well.The installation and implementation of the above automation come with some consequences. The failure of any automation process may result in restating of the whole procedure. Alternatively, the wrong automation may result in malfunctioning. These are common consequences that are likely to affect any manufacturing plant. Recently, manufacturing plants have focused on automation of robotics to do away with the high costs associated with the human labor. The successful implementation of automation has had both positive and negative consequences on different players in the manufacturing industry. For example, manufacturers have enjoyed the reduction in labor costs. Secondly, consumers have enjoyed high quality products at affordable prices. On the other hand, workers have continued to suffer from unemployment because their positions have been taken by robots. The rampant automation of robotics, especially in the industrialized countries put the future of the human labor force in the manufacturing plants into question.
As much as automation of robotics has been accused of taking away human jobs, the findings show that only a few human jobs have been lost. For example, in the United States in the implementation of robots has been slow and as a result, the replacement of human labor force has had very little impact on the US economy. However, China is likely to be affected by high unemployment rates if its planned automation of robotics succeeds (Knight, 2015). The looming effect of robots challenges human employment in future, especially in the industrialized world. However, there are those who argue that automation is not taking away human jobs but instead helping manufacturing plants to perform efficiently. This is a debate statement that calls for robust justifications. Kessler (2017) argued that it is true that automation replaces human labor but in return in creates others jobs too. Kessler (2017) goes ahead to depict that having automation in place, will create other jobs in the manufacturing plants through creation of new devices as well as maintenance and repairing of the new automation systems. In support, the McKinney study in 2016 concluded that automation or robotics would only away take away five percent of the human labor (Kessler, 2017). Just like an earlier observation by this paper, the study found that automation is not meant to replace human labor entirely but to make business operations more efficient.
Unemployment Situation around the Globe
Over the years unemployment rate across the globe has been associated with the slow economic growth. It has been argued that when the economy grows, the employment of resources increases and in return companies will require more workers. Ideally, high unemployment rates are evident in developing world because of the slow economic growth (Patton, 2015). However, in the modern business world, unemployment is not solely the problem in the emerging economies but also a concern in the developed economies. The developed world has always been associated with strong economies, and the cases of unemployment have been in rare. In fact, the developed world is known to suffer from unemployment problems only during the economic recession periods. However, in the recent past, that has not been the case and has been trend changing with cases of unemployment being reported in the industrialized nations. One might wonder what has changed this trend. The answer to this question lies in the changes in the modes of production adopted by industries in these nations. For example, the advanced technology in these countries has led to the replacement of human labor with automation systems such as robots. To provide an extensive explanation of this puzzle; this paper uses ten industrialized nations across the world to explore unemployment situation in these countries. In the exploration, the paper will also establish the unemployment causes and the possible solutions to overcome this menace.
|Country||Unemployment Situation||Possibilities of Human Jobs Recovery|
|Australia||-The current unemployment rate is estimated at 5.5 percent (CEICData.com, 2017). |
-This percentage can be attributed to the automation of systems in the workplace.
-The country is one of the great users of automated technology in the world.
|-Just like the United States, the automation of systems creates other job opportunities.|
|Britain||-The rate of unemployment stands at 4.3 percent (CEICData.com, 2017). |
-This has been caused by the economic recessions and automation of systems as manufacturing plants shift to robots to cut human labor coast.
|-Adopting job-sharing policies where one job can be done by two persons at different times. |
-The creation of robots creates other job opportunities.
|Canada||-Current unemployment rate ranks at seven percent. |
-The major causes of unemployment comprise of;
· Seasonal employment structure, for example, construction and agricultural jobs.
· Technological advancement that has taken the place of human labor.
· Economic cycles that affect the employment of resources.
|-The problem of human labor obsolete can be solved by shifting workers to other sectors that do not rely on technology.|
|China||-The current unemployment rate stands at 3.95 percent (CEICData.com, 2017). |
-Despite the lowest unemployment rates, the cases of unemployed are evident.
-China is the nation that embraces cheap labor; manufacturing plants have resorted to the robots since they are less costly and faster than the human labor.
|-China is the country endowed with numerous resources that are not fully exploited. |
-The full employment of the available resources will help to resolve the current problem caused by automated systems.
|France||-Currently, the unemployment rate in France range at 9.7 percent (CEICData.com, 2017). |
-Unemployment levels in the country have been escalated by the growing population and the advanced technology that has replaced human labor.
|-Building an economy that is based on industrial and service sectors. |
-This will help to cater for the people who lose their jobs to the robots in the manufacturing industries.
|Germany||-Germany unemployment rate stands at 5.61 percent (CEICData.com, 2017). |
-This percentage does not mean people entirely are jobless but instead they are working in jobs whereby they are earning meager salaries.
-The automation of systems has impacted employment in the country but only in the small percentage.
|-The unemployment rate in the country is not such diverse and therefore, having automated systems in the manufacturing plants will not replace human labor.|
|Italy||The unemployment rate in Italy has remained at 11.1 percent for a while (CEICData.com, 2017). |
-This trend was linked to the automation of systems that have replaced blue-collar jobs hence rendering casual workers jobless.
|-The diversified economy will help to cater for the jobless people whom their jobs have been replaced by the robots in the manufacturing industries.|
|Japan||-Japanese unemployment rate stands at 2.8 percent (CEICData.com, 2017). |
-The country is highly industrialized, and as a result, a lot of human labor has been replaced by the automated systems.
|-The automation systems create other job opportunities for those who will be replaced by robots.|
|Russia||-Russia employment stands at 5.4 percent (CEICData.com, 2017). |
-The country has been experiencing the rise unemployment levels as result of economic downturns and reliance of robots in the manufacturing industries.
|-Creation and maintenance of the automated robotics require human labor, and therefore, it will create employment for the jobless.|
|USA||-The current unemployment rate stands at 4.1 percent (CEICData.com, 2017). |
-This rate is attributable to the automation of systems.
-The loss of jobs is being experienced in the manufacturing industries that have turned into robots to replace the blue-collar jobs that were done manually.
|-The development of automation systems means the creation of new jobs. |
-The development or robots will require manual labor to assemble the necessary components.
-The maintenance and the repair of the robots also create other job opportunities.