Peak Automation Will See Massive Jobs Hit
Goldman Sachs is now projecting that automation will take as many as 25,000 jobs per month away from truck drivers, as self-driving vehicles will replace human workers.
The report looks at many aspects of automation and its effects on workers, while the peak adoption of self-driving vehicles threatens to feature the largest displacement of human workers in favor of robotic replacements. The data was included in a report from Goldman Sachs Economics Research.
Truck drivers, more than other vehicle-based services, are likely to see the biggest hurt due to the rise of automation. Bus and taxi drivers will also be affected, but the bulk of the job loss will be limited to trucks.
As many as two percent of the total American working population are truck drivers. The industry employed four-million drivers in 2014 in the U.S., according to Goldman Sachs.
The report, while damning for truck drivers, does predict strong sales for semi- and fully autonomous cars by 2030, claiming that the vehicles will account for about 20% of total car sales.
Many industries and workers are feeling the effects of automation, or at least see the potential transformative power of the developing technology.
Cashiers, secretaries, bank tellers, waiters, real estate agents, and many other sectors could be at risk of seeing jobs cut due to the rise of the robotic worker.
While automation will likely be slowed by regulation and slow adoption, ultimately these jobs will disappear (or at least, be fulfilled by automated workers).
The report did note, however, that multiple employment and productivity measures in the U.S. show that labor-replacing tech is unlikely to cause massive disruption.
Some sectors that have already been hurt by the rise of automation, include telecommunications, department stores, publishing, and manufacturing. These industries have seen the biggest loss in jobs over the past 13 years.
Automation, especially in cars, has become something of a Holy Grail in the tech world. Uber, Google, and Apple are among the many companies that are rumored or known to be working on a self-driving vehicle.
In fact, Google’s parent company Alphabet is locked in a lawsuit with Uber over accusations of stolen information regarding the development of self-driving vehicles.
In any case, jobs will be at risk when automation does hit.