The drive for greater efficiencies, decreased costs and increased revenues relies increasingly on business automation, however, rather surprisingly this tends to increase head counts rather than reduce staffing levels.
According to US-based CareerBuilder, 21% of US companies have turned to automation to replace staff – when we look at companies with over 500 staff, this increases to 30%. This trend is increasing, however it is creating more jobs than it is eliminating in a rather surprising twist.
According to CareerBuilder’s research, 68% of companies who have undertaken business automation – known in the US as de-skilling when it replaces staff – added new positions. 35% actually increased head counts once business automation had been completed.
CareerBuilder’s research (conducted in conjunction with Economic Modeling Specialists International) has been supported by The Pew Research Center, who have also conducted similar research regarding the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and human labor (cf: “AI, Robotics and the Future of Jobs”). Within the Pew research, while de-skilling eliminates some positions, human beings react by finding jobs that require their own unique qualities and capabilities.
Business Intelligence Space Exemplifies Increasing Head Counts
Data collection has become heavily automated, with over 43,000 data entry jobs lost to business automation between 2002 and 2014. This was a 16% decline in staffing positions within the sector. On the other hand, demand for staff who could interpret the data has shot through the roof, with 99,000 data scientists and business analyst positions created in the same time frame.
It is not simply that the number of jobs has increased either; so has pay. The lost data entry positions paid on average $14 per hour: the average pay of data scientist/analyst positions is $29.16 per hour on average. Not only have the net number of jobs increased, so has the pay of the staff, provided they have the prerequisite education and qualifications, which tend to be greater than for the positions that have been eliminated.
US Macro Economic Data Supports Increased Job Creation Due To Business Automation
Business intelligence and data entry/interpretation are not the only sector of the US economy to reflect job creation, and better paying jobs at that. The economy as a whole also reflects the underlying trend of enhanced job creation post-business automation.
In the US, 257 occupations have undergone head count declines since 2002 (this is approximately one-third of all occupations in the country). Over the same period, 483 occupation classifications (61% of the total) have undergone expansion of their workforce by 1% or more.
This is by no means a US-based phenomenon, with Europe and some parts of Asia experiencing similar trends. In some parts of the world, it is still cheaper to have a human perform work rather than automate it, however as economies develop, this will change at an ever increasing rate.