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Millions of Jobs May be Lost to Robots: MIT Economist

Millions of low-skilled and medium-skilled may lose their job to automation, as per an American economist. It is estimated that the US has already lost 360,000 to 670,000 jobs to robots since 1990.

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Updated:July 11, 2017, 11:02 AM IST
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Millions of Jobs May be Lost to Robots: MIT Economist
Representative Image. (Image: AFP Relaxnews)
While industrial robots have already displaced hundreds of thousands of jobs in the US since 1990, they are about to take millions more from human hands in the next decade, said a renowned American economist. "There's a real mismatch between our institutions and the technologies coming on board," Daron Acemoglu, an economist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), told Axios Media, an American news website, in an interview published on Sunday night. Industrial robots have been replacing a range of low-skill and medium-skill occupations, reports Xinhua news agency.

A paper published in March by Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo, another MIT economist, estimates that the US has already lost between 360,000 and 670,000 jobs to robots since 1990. In an aggressive scenario, Acemoglu estimates in the paper that industrial robots will lead to a 0.94-1.76 percentage point lower employment to population ratio and 1.3-2.6 percent lower wage growth between 2015 and 2025, indicating millions of workers could lose their jobs in the next decade.

Technological advancements have long-term social and political implications, as low-end blue collars are more vulnerable to robots. Therefore, Acemoglu said education reforms are necessary to relieve the pain inflicted on working class by new technology.

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