Machines Could Replace Millions of Construction Jobs By 2057
Technology implementation is running rampant in many industries but has not yet fully taken hold in the construction sector. A study from the Midwest Economic Policy Institute (MEPI) shows that may very well change in the next four decades, as machines could replace as many as 2.7 million construction jobs by 2057.
Earlier this month, Construction Dive shared results from the MEPI study, which states automation could take over nearly 50% of all construction jobs, saving time and money. Automation is possible in 50% of carpenters' jobs, 42% for electricians, 50% for plumbers and 88% for operating engineers. The study's authors suggested the industry begin preparing for this possibility by formalizing a plan to prevent job loss.
"Advancements in technology have already dramatically re-shaped American manufacturing and eliminated millions of blue-collar, middle-class jobs," study co-author Robert Bruno said in a release. "Similar changes are already underway in the construction sector, and it is vital for policymakers to begin thinking about ways to embrace progress without leaving middle-class workers behind."
Although there hasn't been an immediate replacement of workers today, automation is breaking through into the industry with the use of laser-scanning robots and drones. A possible outcome to using robots in construction is similar to that in the credit department: Construction workers may have more time for other tasks, while keeping an eye on technology's work.
—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate