Robots weld Golf car bodies (Golf VII) during a press tour at the plant of the German manufacturer Volkswagen AG (VW) in Zwickau, central Germany, Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. More than 4 million vehicles (Golf and Passat) have left the production facilities since foundation of the Zwickau plant in 1990. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer

Robots in Germany didn’t increase unemployment—but they made inequality worse

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Germany went from having two industrial robots per thousand people in 1994 to almost eight in 2014.

Published   |  Photo by AP Photo/Jens Meyer
Robots weld Golf car bodies (Golf VII) during a press tour at the plant of the German manufacturer Volkswagen AG (VW) in Zwickau, central Germany, Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. More than 4 million vehicles (Golf and Passat) have left the production facilities since foundation of the Zwickau plant in 1990. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer
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The US, by comparison, averaged less than one industrial robot per thousand people in 1994, and less than two in 2014.

Robots weld Golf car bodies (Golf VII) during a press tour at the plant of the German manufacturer Volkswagen AG (VW) in Zwickau, central Germany, Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. More than 4 million vehicles (Golf and Passat) have left the production facilities since foundation of the Zwickau plant in 1990. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer
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Because of robots, German factories cut the wages of workers instead of firing them. Meanwhile, high-skilled workers, like managers and scientists, saw their wages grow.

Robots weld Golf car bodies (Golf VII) during a press tour at the plant of the German manufacturer Volkswagen AG (VW) in Zwickau, central Germany, Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. More than 4 million vehicles (Golf and Passat) have left the production facilities since foundation of the Zwickau plant in 1990. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer
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And factories stopped hiring new workers. Young people had to find work in other areas, like the service sector.

Published

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