Big companies and corporations are notorious for cutting corners and looking for innovative and creative ways to save money and maximize profits.
Today we are seeing these types of job cuts in industries in which the task can be automated to some degree. For example amazon factories already have over 30,000 robots fulfilling orders 24/7. This tradeoff between convenience to a company and employing real humans is one that is widely debated.
The banking industry is undergoing its own shift, with 30% of its jobs threatened in the last year. This type of automation differs from what we imagine as a human looking robot handling our finances, rather now we just have the ability to handle them ourselves from the comfort of our home. This shift is also one of reliance, as customers no longer feel the need to walk into an establishment for the little things that they used to do.
While these new types of features seem convenient they have a large impact on America’s current employment levels, with 11 big banks cutting a combined 10% of their staff this year.
This phenomenon is now being referred to as an ‘Uber moment’, referring to the way in which Uber disrupted the taxi industry. This digital transformation has the potential to be a bigger driver of layoffs than jobs becoming outsourced, as entire departments can and have been shut down with the constant releases of new technology. This raises the moral dilemma that is, “when, if ever, will technology harm overall social welfare rather than help it”?