I know we are supposed to view the AI and robot folks as great gurus of the future, but at the moment they look like people who have great difficulty with simple arithmetic. We just got new numbers on productivity today and they were not very good, and they were especially not very good in manufacturing, the sector where we are supposed to have the greatest fear of job-killing robots. And, it's not just the last quarter I'm talking about.
Productivity growth in manufacturing has averaged well under 1.0 percent annually for the last decade. In the Golden Age from 1947 to 1973, it averaged well over 3.0 percent. Here's the picture for the last three decades from the good folks at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Of course, we could see a sharp uptick in the future, which I think would be a great thing. It would allow for rapid wage growth like we had back in the Golden Age.
Anyhow, if folks want to worry about the robots taking all the jobs, don't let me bother you with data. While you're at it, you may want to keep on the lookout for invading Martians.