Are Robots Really Taking Our Jobs?

Being short on cash is always tough, no matter the reason. While unemployment may be historically low, underemployment remains a stubborn reality in this country. There are various reasons. You might be underemployed if you’re scraping by on one or two part-time jobs, if your pay is irregular, or if you’re highly skilled but working in a low-skill, low-paying position. And there are many millions of Americans who fall into these categories despite recent economic gains.

As if these challenges aren’t enough, advancements in robotic technology are making it easier to replace humans with, well, a robot. Maybe nothing that resembles R2-D2 from Star Wars, but by various technologies capable of performing job-related tasks. Most jobs are still done by humans, and individuals on tighter budgets still have options for taking control of their financial situations. Still, it never hurts to take a look at the non-human competition. It may even help you get ahead.

Smart Machines and Artificial Intelligence on the Rise

Forbes estimates that smart machines and artificial intelligence will supplant some 85 million jobs by 2025. Keep in mind that the same analysts predict that this kind of technology is going to create many more jobs, since humans will be needed to operate and manage these new systems. Jobs currently being handled by robotic technology include:

  • Factory workers such as assembly-line workers
  • Telemarketers
  • Receptionists
  • Stockroom and warehouse workers
  • Research analysts
  • Cashiers
  • Financial service employees
  • Surgical assistants

Impact of Robots on Jobs in Chicago, Illinois, and Throughout the Midwest

The use of robots in the workforce has skyrocketed in the last decade, but the trend appears focused on specific locations and sectors. Midwestern cities, which used to be known for traditional factory work, have seen some of the sharpest increases in industrial robots. With over six jobs done by robots for every 1,000 workers, Chicago is near the top of the list. However, robots can enhance jobs and they don’t necessarily replace people. It is less likely you’ll find a traditional position in manufacturing, especially here in the Midwest. Instead, you may find more opportunities in emerging technology.

If you are hoping to make more money or change lines of work, there’s no reason not to pursue your dreams and financial goals. Despite all the news, robots haven’t had a significant effect on employment. For one thing, workers displaced by machines have been able to find other lines of work, particularly since there have been more job openings in recent months than workers to fill them.

Find Free and Low-Cost Technical Skills Training – Online and Off

If you’re still reading, you may be interested in building some new skills of your own. Doing so can be one of the best ways to become more marketable in the future and get you higher up on that cash ladder. A quick Google search shows there is limitless training available to just about anyone, much of it online. There’s so much free online education that the real challenge might be limiting your search to actual areas of interest. Just a handful of examples of free and low-cost tech education opportunities that are available to the general public include:

  1. Virtual Career Training for Unemployed Illinois Residents
  2. Websites for Learning to Code
  3. Online OpenCourseWare through Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  4. Tuition-Free IT Education at Per Scholas

All of this tech talk can sound a bit intimidating. If you’re just starting to explore new skills and opportunities, there’s always YouTube, where countless professionals across the spectrum are more than willing to share their expertise, with visuals to help their viewers follow along.

CCEA Provides Check Cashing and Other Financial Services for the Underemployed

When times are tight, it’s especially important to keep track of your dollars. Workers who don’t receive regular paychecks, get paid in cash, or don’t qualify for bank accounts should take advantage of Community Currency Exchanges (CCEAs). Underemployed populations know more than anyone the value of doing business with legitimate and trustworthy organizations. If you don’t have a traditional bank account or are concerned about getting roped into credit card debt, there are still various services for handling just about any type of money transaction.

These services include:

  • Check Cashing
  • Business Check Cashing
  • Prepaid Debit Card
  • Electronic Bill Payment
  • MoneyGram
  • Western Union

CCEA is happy to support folks in any stage of employment. We can cash just about any type of check, with shorter wait times and more flexible hours than a bank. Stop by and check out what else we offer!

A portrait of a robot.

With over 350 locations, many open nights, weekends, and holidays (and several stores with 24/7 availability), you can rest easy knowing your financial needs can be taken care of when you need them most. We’re in the heart of every community. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.