The Age of Automation Has Arrived
Robots could replace as many as five million jobs by 2020 (it will likely be many more) according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the cuts have already begun.
Walmart is reportedly cutting 7,000 jobs on account of automation, joining other companies including electronics maker FoxConn (which cut some 60,000 jobs recently) and even fast food restaurant Wendy's which is replacing human order takers with self-service kiosks.
The reason's Walmart's move is so noteworthy is because of who will be impacted. The positions that will be eliminated are largely, according to the Wall Street Journal, in the accounting and invoicing sectors of the company (which just so happens to be America's largest private employer). These are positions with some of the longest tenured employees and earn the highest hourly wages.
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The Journal reported that at beginning of 2017, much of this work will be addressed by “a central office or new money-counting “cash recycler” machines in stores.” Walmart testing the change at some 500 locations this year and saw a smooth transition during the pilot program.
It's obvious that automation will replace millions of jobs, the ultimate question now is how are you preparing for the future of work? What do you believe you will be doing in five, ten or twenty years?