Automation is often cited as the most disruptive immanent economic transition facing global employment markets. During the 2010s increasing automation was blamed for the job losses and downward mobility apparent in many societies, and the anxiety over job loss or skill redundancy caused by automation is thought to have led to a rise in nationalist, protectionist and populist politics internationally. But while automation also holds the potential to give us cheaper products, lower average work hours and new industries, arguably we are not seeing these benefits, even though we are seeing rising unemployment and inequality.
So is job displacement due to automation actually taking place, or are other economic factors at play?
Is automation really the economic shift we should be focussing on?
Or is the threat of automation overstated?