Feb. 10, 2015 – Cheaper, better robots will replace human workers in the world’s factories at a faster pace over the next decade, pushing labour costs down 16 per cent, a report today by the Boston Consulting Group said.
It predicts that investment in industrial robots will grow 10 per cent a year in the world’s 25-biggest export nations through 2025, up from 2 per cent to 3 per cent a year now.
Robots will cut labour costs by 24 per cent in Canada, it notes, while South Korea will experience 33 per cent, Japan will see 25 per cent, and the United States and Taiwan will see 22 per cent.
Only 10 per cent of jobs that can be automated have already been taken by robots. By 2025, the machines will have more than 23 per cent, Boston Consulting forecasts.
“As labour costs rise around the world, it is becoming increasingly critical that manufacturers rapidly take steps to improve their output per worker to stay competitive,” said Harold Sirkin, a senior partner at Boston Consulting and co-author of the report. “Companies are finding that advances in robotics and other manufacturing technologies offer some of the best opportunities to sharply improve productivity.”
— With files from Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press