What’s happening on the global stage within countries is also reflected in individual businesses. Companies that use the latest automation technologies are the most productive and profitable, and are thus the ones aggressively hiring.
As noted by Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, in a recent TechCrunch article,“If you look at … a combination of man and machine, and you look at some of the examples that have really kind of surprised us in just how they’ve taken off — like Uber, like the Apple store — they are actually cases where humans are made more powerful by this background. And that creates a better customer experience, which creates new demand.”
Amazon is an example of strong workforce expansion despite, or perhaps as a result of, heavy investment in automation. In the quarter that ended in June, Amazon’s workforce grew by 42% year-on-year to 382,400 jobs.
In hospitality, an industry that uses my company’s robots, job growth directly resulting from automation is something we’re witnessing first hand. Residence Inn LAX is only one example of a hotel that had to hire additional staff to support the bump in business attributable to their robot butler. It’s clear, for American companies — and the US economy overall — to remain competitive globally, businesses must embrace automation and other new technologies.
Unfortunately, as US leaders drag their heels on adopting robotic automation, other countries are moving full steam ahead to embrace the robot revolution. China, for one, unquestionably believes robots will make its economy more competitive. With annual spending on robotics set to exceed US$59 billion by 2020, China is by far the largest and fastest-growing robotics market in the world, accounting for more than 30% of global spending in the next three years, says a recent report from IDC.