In 2016 Donald Trump consistently promised he’d bring jobs back to America.
But the truth is many jobs are never coming back to America. And it has nothing to do with China, Mexico or bad trade deals.
Technology has already turned bank tellers into ATMs, cashiers into self checkout lanes and travel agents into Travelocity. But that’s just the beginning.
According to a new PwC report, a staggering 38% of U.S. jobs will be gone in 15 years.
Financial services jobs, like those of bank tellers, are most at risk. 61% will be replaced by robots, experts predict.
So what happens to the American economy when 38% of its jobs just disappear?
We’re going to find out.
But one thing is almost certain. Unskilled workers will be the first to go. Drivers, cashiers, tellers, coal miners, farmers, manufacturers and receptionists should see the writing on the wall now.
North America took in 34,600 manufacturing robots last year alone. Looked at another way, America lost 34,600 unskilled jobs. That’s nearly double the 2005 shipment of 18,200 robots. And since technology grows exponentially… expect unskilled jobs to disappear exponentially.
But before you go blaming government or big business, keep in mind that this phenomenon isn’t new.
Ever since the beginning of time we’ve been replacing one technology with the next. No government lobby could have persuaded people to buy Bronze in the Iron Age, no negotiation would have helped sell a sword in WWII.
But where does this leave America’s unskilled workers?
In short, in trouble. The world will lose 1.6 million manufacturing and production jobs alone between 2015 and 2020. And unlike other periods in world history, there won’t be another unskilled job market to jump to, because robots will likely be there too.
So what’s the solution? In short, education. As Fortune puts it, "Demand is growing for jobs requiring abstract judgment and expertise in engineering, analytics, and creative design. Think job titles like robot coordinator, equipment installer, and mobile service technician.”
Here’s the good news. If you’re sitting at work thinking "anyone could do this,” there’s a good chance you don’t really like your job anyway.
So why not take a risk, explore your passions, and find that thing that only you can do. That way you won’t come to work one day and find the Terminator’s cousin stocking your shelves.