Robots threaten Texas' manufacturing jobs, report claims

BOTTROP, GERMANY - JANUARY 26: A hardhat of a worker of the Prosper coking plant is pictured on January 26, 2009 in Bottrop, Germany. The coking plant Prosper Haniel in Bottrop produces about 2 million tons of coke every year. (Photo by Patrik Stollarz/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

HOUSTON – A report released this month by Oxford Economics claims certain states are at risk of losing manufacturing jobs to robots.

The 64-page report highlights the reasons for the surge in robots, the impact of robots on manufacturing jobs and how to respond to the rise -- as well as other factors.


The report begins by stating that the number of robots in use worldwide has "multiplied three-fold (sic) over" and predicts the number of robots will rise to 20 million by 2030 globally. It says that the increase in robots will boost productivity and create new jobs in industries that are not yet invented. However, the report also says that the rise in robots will increase the number of lost jobs in areas "with a disproportionate toll on lower-skilled workers and on poorer local economies."

"In many places, the impact will aggravate social and economic stresses from unemployment and income inequality in times when increasing political polarisation (sic) is already a worrying trend," it reads.


The report estimates that for every robot installed, 1.6 manufacturing workers are displaced. It estimates that by 2030, as many as 20 million additional manufacturing jobs worldwide could be displaced due to robotization.

It will also impact areas, as previously mentioned, that are already considered low-income areas.

The most vulnerable areas in the United States, according to the report, are as ranked: 

  • Oregon
  • Louisiana
  • Texas
  • Indiana
  • North Carolina

The least vulnerable areas in the United States, according to the report, are:

  • Hawaii
  • District of Columbia
  • Nevada
  • Florida
  • Vermont

Tony Bennett, president and CEO of the Texas Association of Manufacturers said in a statement:

“Robotics and mechanization in our advanced manufacturing industries will continue to displace some general labor jobs. However, this change is also ushering in a new set of higher skilled jobs that are being created to engineer, build and service these sophisticated machines.  The state of Texas must continue striving to increase educational opportunities in engineering, math, science and career and technologies to meet the complex manufacturing processes of the future."