Inflation and a tight labor market are becoming a win-win situation for robots.
According to the Association for Advancement of Automation (A3), about 9,000 robots were sold in the U.S. in the first quarter with a total value of about $544,000, compared to more than 6,400 robots with a total value of about $346,000 in the same period last year.
In the three-month period from January to March, more than 11,500 robots were sold in North America, with a total value of about $646 million, the largest single-quarter purchase. Figures for North America were up 28% and 43%, respectively, from the first quarter of 2021, and 7% and 25%, respectively, from the previous best quarter, the fourth quarter of 2021.
Boston Dynamics is one of the leaders in automation and often showcases the work they do with “Spot.”
A3 represents nearly 1,100 automation manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end users, academic institutions, research groups and consulting companies worldwide.
The first quarter of 2022 was the seventh of the past nine quarters in which non-automotive customers ordered more robots than automotive customers.
During the quarter, non-automotive customers in North America ordered a total of 6,122 units, while automotive-related customers ordered 5,476 units. The auto OEM’s unit sales rose 15% year over year, while the auto parts company’s orders rose 22% year over year.
Robot orders in the metal industry increased by 40% year-on-year, plastics and rubber industry increased by 29% year-on-year, semiconductor, electronics and photonics industry increased by 23% year-on-year, and increased by 21% year-on-year Food and consumer goods industry increased by 14% year-on-year, life sciences, pharmaceutical and biomedical industries increased 14%. Meanwhile, robot orders across all other industries rose 56% year over year.
“Companies of all sizes, and increasingly small and midsize companies, are deploying robotics and automation because it’s more feasible than ever,” Alex Shikany, vice president of membership and business intelligence at A3, told FOX Business. “There are multiple financing models, new hardware and software, and a more user-friendly experience for customers to enjoy.”
data as The total number of job openings in the U.S. has grown to 11.5 million. The Labor Department reported that 4.5 million Americans (about 3% of the workforce) quit their jobs in March. In April, the U.S. economy Nonfarm payrolls increased by a stronger-than-expected 428,000.
“The main trend we’re hearing about automated labor right now is that companies can’t find people,” Shikany added. “Many of our members are hiring now, but are unable to fill these positions due to a lack of qualified candidates.”
Inflation also dented wage growth for workers, real average hourly earnings April fell 2.6% year-on-year.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office expects Inflation will remain high in the short term, the consumer price index for the full year of 2022 is expected to reach 4.7%. While that’s down slightly from 6.7% in 2021 — the highest level in 40 years — it’s still well above the Fed’s forecast. Inflation is not expected to fall to the Fed’s preferred level of 2% until 2024, according to the CBO.
In its The future of jobs reporting The World Economic Forum, released in October 2020, estimated that by 2025, humans and machines will spend equal amounts of time on current work tasks. The World Economic Forum predicts that a shift in the division of labor between humans and machines could displace 85 million jobs by 2025, with 97 million new jobs likely to emerge that are better suited to the new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms .
Megan Henney of Fox Business contributed to this report