The increase in demand for the construction robots will come as companies look to improve the safety and quality of their work. As such, a proposal introduced into the U.S. Senate could help mitigate the impact on the labor force. The construction robot market is expected to grow close to $100 million to $166.4 million by 2023 due in large part to growing urbanization, according to information in the report.
However, there are some anticipated obstacles to its rapid expansion. “High equipment cost inhibits the construction robot market growth. Furthermore, the unpredictable layout of construction sites has been a key challenge faced by the market,” according to the report. “However, factors such as the adoption of 3D printing in the construction industry and rise in automation at construction sites can generate significant opportunities for this market.”
The role of automation has been hotly debated in recent months as policy makers continue to grapple with the potential impact automation could have on the workforce. Earlier this year, a coalition of Senators introduced a bill to extend assistance benefits to workers who lose their job as a result of automation. The proposal from Sens. Gary Peters, Joe Donnelly and Kirsten Gillibrand would extend Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits, currently used to protect workers who lose employment as a result of trade with foreign counties, to those cut due to automation.
“As technology becomes an increasingly important part of our manufacturing sector, we must be prepared to address the evolving needs of workers in this new economy,” said Peters. “I am proud to work with Senator Donnelly and Senator Gillibrand to introduce the Automation Adjustment Act, which would provide critical assistance to help ensure displaced workers have the opportunity to obtain new skills and continue earning a good living.”
One study cited by the Senators claims 85% of job losses in the manufacturing sector have come as a result of automation. They also said as many as 73 million jobs in the U.S. could be displaced by 2030 as a result of automation. “Hoosiers go to work every day to support their families, provide their kids with a good education, and retire in dignity, but a growing number of workers have lost their job due to automation,” said Donnelly. “I believe these workers should be eligible for TAA benefits, so they can access the resources they need for job training or to find new employment or occupations.”
The bill would also create an Advisory Commission to advise Department of Labor and help identify occupations at risk as a result of increased automation. It would produce an annual report and facilitate collaboration with other agencies, according to information from the Senators. The bill has the support of several trade organizations including the AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers and UAW. More information is available from the Market and Markets report and from Peters’ office.