36+ Alarming Automation & Job Loss Statistics [2023]: Are Robots, Machines, And AI Coming For Your Job?

By Jack Flynn
Feb. 14, 2023
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Cite This Webpage Zippia. "36+ Alarming Automation & Job Loss Statistics [2023]: Are Robots, Machines, And AI Coming For Your Job?" Zippia.com. Feb. 14, 2023, https://www.zippia.com/advice/automation-and-job-loss-statistics/

Research Summary. Many Americans are worried that automation will threaten their jobs, and it’s important to understand where exactly these fears are coming from. After all, not all industries are created equal, with technology replacing human jobs at a much higher rate in some fields. To further understand the impact of artificial intelligence on employment, our data analysis team concluded:

  • Automation is predicted to displace 20 million manufacturing jobs by 2030.

  • The US is home to 310,700 industrial robots, and that number increases by at least 40,000 each year.

  • Automation has the potential to eliminate 73 million US jobs by 2030, which would equate to a staggering 46% of the current jobs.

  • 37% of Americans are worried about automation displacing them from their jobs.

  • 85% of Americans approve of automation only in jobs that are dangerous or unhealthy for humans.

  • The installation of industrial robots has increased at a 10.28% compound annual growth rate over the past decade.

  • 25% of American jobs are highly susceptible to automation.

  • Globally, there are 3.5 million operating industrial robots as of 2021 — a 17% increase from 2020.

For further analysis, we broke down the data in the following ways:
Industry | Demographics | Region | Trends + Predictions | Public Opinion
annual installations of robots 2015-2020 global

Global Annual Installation of Industrial Robots 2015-2021

Year New Robots
2015 254K
2016 304K
2017 400K
2018 423K
2019 391K
2020 394K
2021 517K

General Automation and Job Loss Statistics

To get an idea of how automation is affecting workers and how it will continue to affect them in the future, we’ve gathered some general facts about it. Our research has shown that over the next decade, job loss due to automation will become a more pressing issue. Here are the facts:

  • 25% of US jobs are experiencing high levels of disruption due to automation.

    36 million US jobs have a high potential for automation, while 52 million American jobs have a medium risk of disruption. 57 million jobs fit into the “low-risk” category, but it’s clear that almost every job will be affected by automation in some way.

    risk of automation breakdown

  • Having a college degree can protect you from job loss by at least 21%.

    Estimates show that at least 50% of the work done by those without bachelor’s degrees could be automated with existing technologies. On the other hand, having a college degree reduces that number by 29%.

  • Since 1990, the cost of employee labor has risen by over 200%. Meanwhile, the cost of robots has dropped by over 50%.

    While the cost of labor has risen, the cost of robots has fallen. These compounding factors are a source of anxiety for US manufacturing workers in particular.

  • The 2022 AI market size in the US alone is valued at over $119 billion.

    America’s AI market size sits at $119.78 billion, and this is only expected to increase — significantly. From 2022 to 2030, experts predict an incredible compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.1% for the AI industry.

  • There are over 310,700 industrial robots in the US, most of which operate in factories.

    And that number increases by at least 40,000 or more annually. Further, as many as 46% of these factory jobs will be replaced by this ever-growing number of robots by 2030.

  • Automation has the potential to raise the United States GDP by 5% within the next five years.

    Automation will impact the economy in many ways. Higher productivity will lead to greater GDP, as well as faster economic growth, more consumer spending, and increased labor demand. The GDP is expected to rise by at least 5% as a result of automation, which would equate to a considerable $1.2 trillion.

  • Since 2000, at least 260,000 jobs have been lost in the US to automation.

    This represents roughly 2% of the country’s total manufacturing workforce, and the numbers only increase each year exponentially.

  • Automation is also predicted to create 58 million new jobs.

    Though automation could result in the elimination of 73 million jobs, it’s also predicted to create 58 million new jobs. While a net loss of 15 million isn’t exactly cause for celebration, it does seem more manageable than roughly half of the country’s jobs disappearing.

  • China installed 268,200 industrial robots in 2021; that’s almost 52% of all new industrial robot installations across the globe for the year.

    Overall, Asia accounted for 74% of industrial robot installations in 2021, while the number of new industrial robots in Europe and the US increased by around 24% and 14%, respectively, over 2021.

  • 2021 installations of industrial robots by country

Automation and Job Loss Statistics by Industry

The amount of automation per industry varies significantly. By far, most of the robots in the United States operate in manufacturing jobs. By contrast, jobs in education are the least likely to be automated due to complexities associated with teaching, empathy, and more.

Here’s what we found with regards to automation as it relates to certain job industries:

  • 82.3% of industrial robots can be found in the manufacturing industry.

    The industries with the highest percentage of robots in use are transportation, manufacturing, metal and electronic, chemical, food and beverage, and wood and paper manufacturing industries.

  • The Automotive Industry employs 38% of manufacturing robots.

    The automotive industry employs a large percentage of manufacturing robots in the US, at a rate of 7.5 robots per 1,000 workers.

  • Creativity, emotional intelligence, and STEM proficiency are the most important skills to have to avoid job automation.

    Many jobs with these qualities fall into the health care, education, and art industries.

    Here are the jobs that make at least $75,000 per year with automation risks below 1%: Audiologists, Occupational Therapists, Sales Engineers, Dentists, Medical Scientists, Podiatrists, Education Administrators, Psychologists, Human Resources Managers, Training and Development Managers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Computer Systems Analysts, and Medical Services Managers.

  • 10 Jobs With the Lowest Risk of Automation

    Occupation Automation Risk
    Occupational Therapist 0%
    Music Therapist 0%
    Rehabilitation Physician 0%
    Physical Education Specialist 0%
    Technical Education Teacher 0%
    Exercise Physiologist 0.02%
    Neuropsychologist 0.02%
    Art Therapist 0.17%
    Nursing Instructor 0.19%
    Podiatrist 0.34%
  • Audiologists and Occupational Therapists have automation risks below 0.40%.

    These two jobs have the lowest automation risk for any job that pays at least $75,000 annually. Audiologists only have a 0.33% risk, whereas Occupational Therapists have a 0.35% risk.

  • Accountants, Inspectors, and Taxi Drivers have an automation risk of 98%.

    These jobs currently have the highest automation risk, with Cashiers, Secretaries, Office Clerks, Receptionists, and Restaurant Hosts not far behind.

  • 10 Jobs With the Highest Risk of Automation

    Occupation Automation Risk
    Food Science Technician 97%
    Procurement Clerk 97%
    Library Technician 97%
    Cargo and Freight Agent 97%
    Tax Preparer 97%
    Real Estate Broker 96%
    Counter and Rental Clerk 96%
    Agricultural Inspector 96%
    Manicurist 96%
    Correspondence Clerk 96%
  • The US autonomous car market is expected to reach $8 billion by 2026.

    Currently valued at roughly $3 billion, the autonomous car market is expected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% over the next five years. By 2026, the market could increase in value by over $5 billion.

Automation and Job Loss Statistics by Demographics

With 76% of Americans believing that automation will heighten inequality, it’s important to take a look at how automation will impact different demographics. Here are the facts:

  • Black and Latino workers are at greater risk of job loss due to automation.

    Of the jobs with an automation risk of over 85%, white workers represented 23.03% of the automation risk. Meanwhile, black workers represented 23.91%, and Latino workers a staggering 30.50%.

  • automation risk by race

  • 13% of those aged 18-24 have either lost a job or had pay and hours reduced due to automation.

    Those 18-24 represent the age range impacted the most by automation. The number of those who have either lost a job or had pay and hours reduced is 8% higher than those 30-49.

  • Baby Boomers are 67% more likely to be drawn to jobs with a high risk of automation than Millennials.

    Studies show that Baby Boomers are 67% more likely to work in routine manual occupations such as installation maintenance, transportation, and production occupations. All of these jobs are at a much higher risk of automation.

  • Women face a 10% higher risk of job loss as a result of automation.

    When it comes to jobs with potential automation risk, women faced a 33.9% moderate risk of automation, whereas only 24.0% of men did. This can partially be attributed to the fact that 65.2% of men work in jobs with a low risk of automation, compared to only 55.6% of women.

Automation and Job Loss Statistics by Region

Unsurprisingly, cities with a large portion of manufacturing jobs will be heavily affected by automation. The states predicted to have the most job loss are Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Texas, and Alabama. Here are the facts:

  • Between 38-65% of jobs in Nevada have a high risk of being automated.

    Southern Nevada (particularly Las Vegas) is currently the region with the highest risk of automation. Within the next decade, between 500,000-860,000 of the 1.3 million jobs in the city could be automated.

  • LA, Chicago, and Houston are the cities that have the most robots in the workforce.

    Los Angeles, California, has 6.91 robots for every 1,000 workers, Chicago has 6.01 per every 1,000 and Houston has 3.38 for every 1,000. By contrast, there are 0.34 robots per every 1,000 human workers nationally.

  • 10 US Cities With the Highest Job Automation Rates

    City/State Robots Per 1,000 Workers
    Los Angeles, CA 6.91
    Chicago, IL 6.02
    Houston, TX 3.38
    Phoenix, AZ 2.16
    Detriot, MI 1.7
    Milwaukee, WI 1.63
    Philadelphia, PA 1.51
    San Jose, CA 1.44
    Indianapolis, IN 1.43
    Cleveland, OH 1.29
  • Automation causes cities to gain jobs, while rural areas lose them.

    Over the last decade, urban areas have gained 66% of all job growth; meanwhile, rural areas have been losing thousands of jobs. This is because rural areas tend to have lower-skilled workers, which increases the unemployment ratio by 0.8.

Automation is predicted to eliminate 73 million US jobs by 2030

We never know what the future truly holds, but when it comes to automation, there are quite a few predictions. Here’s what experts say:

  • 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet.

    This might be surprising, but just consider the fact that any job involving the modern internet didn’t exist as little as 20 years ago.

  • Robots complete 29% of task hours today.

    Currently, 71% of total current task hours are completed by humans, as opposed to 29% by robots. This number is only expected to increase over time.

  • automation of task hours

  • Globally, the market for robots is expected to grow by 26% by 2025.

    The installation of industrial robots has increased at a 10.28% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) within the past decade, a sign of times to come.

Opinions on Job Loss and Automation Statistics

In the United States, employees have more negative feelings toward automation than positive ones. Many predict job loss, inequality, and other negative results. Here are statistics:

  • 82% of Americans believe that by 2050, much of the work done by humans will instead be done by robots. By the same token, 48% say that these changes will hurt American workers.

  • public opinion on automation

  • 37% of American workers fear that automation will affect their own line of work by being able to replace them.

  • Only 22% of all adults believe that automation has helped US workers.

  • 85% of US employees say that automation in the workforce should be limited to “dangerous and dirty” jobs.

  • A considerable 74% of Americans believe that fully autonomous vehicles will not be safe. However, 68% also agreed that they would change their mind if the cars had a proven track record of safe use.

  • Despite the increased impact on younger individuals, only 43% of those aged between 18-49 believe that automation has hurt American workers, as opposed to 55% of those aged above 50. In fact, 13% of those aged between 18-24 have been impacted by automation, compared to only 6% of those aged between 50-64.

Job Loss Due to Technology Statistics FAQ

  1. Should I be afraid of automation?

    No, you shouldn’t be afraid of automation. While many of the concerns related to automation and job loss are very real, the American public generally has a more negative opinion of it than is necessary. On the surface, the statistic of 73 million jobs lost to automation seems terrifying, but it ignores the fact that at least 58 million new jobs will be created.

    The job market is always changing. It changed rapidly in the past 20 years, and it will continue to change.

  2. How do I avoid losing my job to automation?

    There are a few crucial steps you can take to avoid losing your job to automation. Currently, education plays a vital role in ensuring reduced rates of job loss due to automation. Those with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher are 21% less likely to suffer job loss. Likewise, jobs in health care, education, and the arts are also far less likely to be automated.

  3. Has technology created or destroyed more jobs?

  4. Technology has likely created more jobs than it’s destroyed, although it’s difficult to quantify. Looking forward, the World Economic Forum predicts that by 2025, 97 million new jobs will be created by technology, while 85 million jobs will be lost to automation.

    If this prediction holds true, then we will experience a net gain of 12 million jobs, globally, thanks to technological advancements.

  5. What percentage of jobs are at risk of automation?

    25% of jobs are considered at high risk of being lost due to automation. A further 36% of jobs have medium potential for being automated, meaning they will likely transform significantly or be lost altogether.

    39% of jobs have a low risk of automation, however, it’s still very likely that even these jobs will experience many changes over the coming years.

  6. How many jobs will be lost to automation by 2030?

    Up to 73 million US jobs will be lost to automation by 2030 That’s a considerable 46% of the current jobs, which means automation will no doubt shake up the nature of the job market.

    This is especially true for industries and fields that are exceptionally high risk. For example, the manufacturing industry alone is projected to lose up to 20 million jobs by 2030

Final Thoughts

The growth of automation in the workplace will continue to have a profound effect on US workers, the job market, and the economy. While robots are expected to grow in the US GDP by 5% over the next five years, as many as 73 million jobs could be lost.

Additionally, young and minority individuals will be disproportionately impacted. Because of this, it’s unsurprising that many Americans have a negative opinion of automation.

However, not everything is doom and gloom. Automation is also expected to create at least 58 million new jobs, as well as open the doors to 85% of the careers that haven’t been invented yet. At best, robots will allow humans to pursue more innovative, creative, and meaningful careers by ditching the repetitive, mechanical ones.


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Jack Flynn

Jack Flynn is a writer for Zippia. In his professional career he’s written over 100 research papers, articles and blog posts. Some of his most popular published works include his writing about economic terms and research into job classifications. Jack received his BS from Hampshire College.

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