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Robot Reality Check: They Create Wealth--and Jobs


The more robots a country has, the higher its gross domestic product and, on average, the richer its citizens.

A new study has found that U.S. adoption of robots and automation is lagging behind that of other countries.

Credit: Thinkstock Photos

Although automation ultimately encourages job creation and drives down the cost of goods and services, a new Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) report says U.S. adoption is lagging behind that of other countries.

The researchers looked at adoption in 17 countries, and found increased use of robots accounted for 0.36% of the annual growth in hourly worker productivity—amounting to 15% of overall productivity growth—and reduced prices of the products they helped manufacture.

In response, some have urged the U.S. to adopt robots at a faster rate.

Said ITIF's Robert Atkinson, "You either adopt automation or you see jobs go overseas to the countries that do."

The U.S. ranks seventh in the world for its ratio of robots to manufacturing workers, while worker shortages in countries like Germany and Japan have driven their leadership in robot use.

From The Wall Street Journal
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