Animal’s Daily News

Took-JobsWorried about Skynet launching nukes?  No?  How about robots taking your job?  Here are the top ten jobs that will be the first displaced by automation:

  1. Assembly Line Worker
  2. Field Technician
  3. Call Center Worker
  4. Sorter
  5. Data Entry
  6. Insurance Underwriter
  7. Tax Preparer
  8. Sales Representative
  9. Translator
  10. Fast Food Employee

Take a good look at that last one.  From the article:

Automated ordering kiosks have already made their way into a few McDonald’s restaurants around the world, and cooking positions could be eliminated next. The kiosks probably can’t handle customer service issues well, but televideo systems could bring in an office employee to facilitate complaints.

Automation will affect parts of casual dining restaurants as well, as tableside tablet ordering systems have already arrived at restaurants like Chili’s and others.

We had a family lunch at Red Robin last weekend, and they had a tableside tablet for appetizers, drinks and payment, although the server had to take our entree order.  We’ll be seeing more of these, mostly in fast food establishments.  Why?

Because of the agitation to raise minimum wages.

Splashing-BearsRaising minimum wages have already priced low-skilled workers out of the market, denying them the chance to gain skills and work history.  When yr. obdt. was a kid, most high-schoolers had part-time jobs – no longer.  Nobody will hire a high-school kid at $15 an hour.  Nobody will hire anyone at that rate to flip burgers; the economic reality is, as has been pointed out many times in these pages, that the minimum wage is in fact zero, and more of the unskilled will find themselves at this level.

The trend towards automation is being increased by these ill-advised laws.  But while automation is a net plus for consumers, in keeping costs down and in many cases improving quality, the push towards it due to increasing costs of employment is making the labor market harder and harder to break into.

Unintended consequences, True Believers – or are they?