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Workplace automation Study: Huge job boost from turning to machines

An automated "Liquid Handling Robot" used by Sias company in canton Zurich


Switzerland can expect 270,000 new jobs created through the first quarter of this century due to workplace automation transforming the economy, a leading consulting firm said on Thursday.

The report from Deloitte concludes that the phenomenon of automation is having a “positive impact on the Swiss labour market” by creating many more jobs than are being replaced by machines. The engine behind that, it says, would be lower prices for goods and higher wages.

“Overall, increasing automation brings considerable advantages for the Swiss economy as a whole as well as for companies,” Deloitte said in a statementexternal link. “It also represents an alternative to offshoring and thus offers an attractive opportunity to keep employment, revenues and value creation onshore and increase them.”

Farms, trees ... and machines

The consulting firm said that agriculture and forestry have the highest proportion of employees in jobs with a high likelihood of automation (76%), while the public administration, health and social services (17%), and information and communication sectors (19%) are the least likely to see automated jobs.

Swiss manufacturing is often associated with quality and precision, and an indexexternal link by the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva puts Switzerland as the top nation in the world for innovation.

However, since the Swiss face some of the highest labour costs in the world, experts say the nation’s competitiveness may depend on investments in robots and other automated machines – which can also help with the uninterrupted running of automated production lines.

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