MHI responds to article on automation and jobs

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina—The Automation Solutions Group (ASG) of MHI has written a response to a recent New York Times article titled “The Long-Term Jobs Killer is Not China. It’s Automation.” The ASG response, titled “Automation Creates Jobs and Raises Wages” and written by Byron Reese and Bill Leber, strongly rebuts the premise of the NYT article.

The Times article was originally published December 21, 2016 and outlines potentially problematic effects of automation on the workforce. The author asserted that as automation is employed in companies, people lose jobs and feel ‘replaced’ by robots.The ASG response argues that a long-term look at industrial automation demonstrates that it increases productivity, raises wages and creates safer work environments.

While it can be disruptive when first introduced, new automation technologies have a strong history of being beneficial for the economy and for workers.

“Automation of repeatable, unskilled tasks frees human capital to focus on more complex, and higher paying, roles,” says Leber.

“Ultimately, automation is beneficial to the community in which it is deployed,” added Reese. “Not only does it have economic benefits, but it often creates safer work environments and creates new jobs that would not exist were it not for automation.”

The MHI’s Automation Solutions Group members are thought leaders on automation software, hardware and services that support a fully integrated supply chain. They collaborate on solutions worldwide and in virtually every major manufacturing and distribution sector. The group’s objective is to strategically position and market automated material handling solutions to the manufacturing, warehousing and distribution industries.