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Michigan has the highest ratio of robots to workers in the country, researcher says

Aug 31, 2017

Michigan has the highest ratio of robots to workers in the country, researcher says.
Credit Association for Advancing Automation

At this very moment, there are workers in Michigan painting vehicles, assembling things, making welds, packing products, and more.

They don’t need lunch or bathroom breaks. They don’t take sick days or go on vacation.

They’re robots.

Mark Muro wrote a post titled “Where Robots Are for the Brookings Institution, where he is senior fellow and policy director with the Metropolitan Policy Program.

Analysis by researchers at Brookings found Michigan leads the nation in the number of industrial robots per 1,000 workers.

“I think it says Michigan is on the forefront of an important technological development in manufacturing, but maybe also on the forefront of emerging issues about the world of work,” Muro said. “Michigan has been on the forefront of this, maybe had [robots] first and early, but is really adding to the base.”

Muro calls the rise of robotics in Michigan an “ambiguous fact” because some people may still have personal reservations about any potential threat automation poses to existing jobs, but he says robots have also allowed Michigan, and its auto industry, to keep from falling behind.

“Robotics have made possible the continued competitiveness of U.S. auto,” Muro said.

Listen to the entire conversation with Mark Muro, senior fellow and policy director as the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, above. 

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