During the pandemic, digitalisation became a central theme in both professional and private life. The Internet has enabled people to stay connected to their surroundings and maintain at least a partially social life. But above all, to move work from the office to the home. The last 3 recessions in the last 30 years have shown that the labour market has recovered from the crisis through greater automation of production. According to a study by scientists at the University of Cambridge, a similar scenario will happen after the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Cambridge University study showed that up to 88% of jobs were automated in some way. It is the affected sectors, such as. industry, after the crises, puts more emphasis on technology and a more skilled workforce. Low-skilled jobs are particularly vulnerable to automation. As a result, experts say, digital technologies may increase social cleavages and be a source of unrest in the years to come.

The International Federation of Robotics reports that global production and sales of industrial robots have increased by 114% over the past 6 years. By 2021, the robot market is expected to grow by 14% annually, bringing production to 600 thousand robots manufactured annually. At the beginning of the millennium, around 80 thousand of them were produced annually. In 2018, the average number of robots in Europe was 106 per 10,000 workers in the industrial sector. There were 91 robots in the US and 75 robots in Asia.

Currently, the global average is 85 robots per 10,000 employees. Germany leads the way in robotization in Europe, with three times more robots in industrial production per year than in Slovakia. Workers in blue-collar positions, call centre workers or sales clerks or cashiers in retail and wholesale are falling by the wayside, gradually being replaced by self-service tills.

On the other hand, in many areas, new technologies complement workers or increase their productivity rather than replacing them altogether. In addition, savings from automation in some sectors may in turn open up space for new jobs in the future – including jobs that we cannot even imagine today.

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In the future, automakers will also invest in final assembly applications. Automotive parts suppliers, a large number of which are SMEs, are slower to fully automate. Robots will become smaller, more adaptable, easier to program and less costly.