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Labour Demand - Examining the impact of robotics and AI on employment

AS, A-Level, IB
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 10 Apr 2023

To what extent might investment in robotics and artificial intelligence in the long run create more new jobs than it destroys?

The argument that robotics and AI might create more jobs than they destroy is based on the idea that these technologies can increase productivity and efficiency in various industries, leading to the creation of new job opportunities.

Freeing up scarce labour resources

Firstly, robotics and AI can automate repetitive and mundane tasks, allowing humans to focus on more complex and creative tasks. For example, robots can be used to perform routine tasks in manufacturing or logistics, freeing up human workers to perform more valuable tasks such as design, planning, and problem-solving.

New types of work

Secondly, robotics and AI can create entirely new industries and job opportunities. For example, the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles will require new jobs in engineering, maintenance, and infrastructure. Similarly, the growth of AI in healthcare can lead to the creation of new jobs in data analysis, personalized medicine, and patient care.

Dynamic efficiency as a driver of economic growth

Thirdly, the adoption of robotics and AI can drive economic growth and create new opportunities for entrepreneurship. Small businesses can benefit from automation technologies, allowing them to compete with larger companies and expand their operations. This can lead to the creation of new jobs in areas such as software development, system integration, and technical support.

Finally, robotics and AI can also increase demand for human workers by improving the quality of products and services. For example, robots can improve the precision and accuracy of manufacturing processes, leading to higher-quality products. Similarly, AI can improve customer service and personalization, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

In conclusion, while there may be some job displacement as a result of robotics and AI, these technologies have the potential to create more jobs than they destroy. By automating routine tasks, creating new industries, driving economic growth, and improving the quality of products and services, robotics and AI can lead to new job opportunities and a better quality of life for workers.


Here are some examples of data and studies that support the argument that robotics and AI might create more jobs than they destroy:

  1. A study by the International Federation of Robotics found that the use of industrial robots in manufacturing can lead to the creation of up to 2.2 million jobs worldwide by 2025.
  2. A report by PwC estimated that AI and related technologies could create up to 2.7 million new jobs in the UK by 2037, particularly in the areas of healthcare, education, and science.
  3. According to a study by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, for every job lost to automation in the US between 1990 and 2007, 2.2 jobs were created in industries that benefited from the increased productivity and efficiency of automation.
  4. A report by the World Economic Forum found that while 75 million jobs could be displaced by AI and automation by 2022, 133 million new jobs could be created in industries such as healthcare, education, and renewable energy.
  5. A study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that countries with high levels of robot adoption, such as Germany and South Korea, also had lower levels of unemployment.

These data and studies suggest that robotics and AI have the potential to create new job opportunities and improve economic growth, particularly in industries that benefit from increased productivity and efficiency.

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