Bloomberg Businessweek

THE ROBOTS ARE COMING (But You’ll Still Need to Work)

They may one day take over the world, but the big problems today are labor shortages and “skills mismatch”

The world’s workers seem to be in a bad spot: A recent study found that each new industrial robot displaces six employees. Automation is on the rise in fields from radiology to volleyball coaching (page 50 of this special Jobs Issue). Workers in poorer manufacturing-reliant nations are especially vulnerable, it’s said, because their jobs could soon be done by robots. Yuval Noah Harari, author of the new book Homo Deus, speculates in a recent Bloomberg View column about the rise of a huge, embittered “useless class” living on the dole.

But if work is being automated out of existence, how do you explain a 2.8 percent unemployment rate in Japan, one of the world’s most roboticized nations? What accounts for shortages of skilled workers in Brazil,

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