Do millennials face economic uncertainty in the future? As employment increasing become more automated, McKinsey & Company (Global management consultants) predicts that, “60% of all work activities could be automated by 2055”.


As far back as the 16th century, mechanisation was introduced in the form of looms, that were used to weave the material used for stockings and rugs. However, Queen Elizabeth I, was very reluctant to encourage this industry as she felt that “stocking knitters” would become redundant in this field.


By the 19th century, textile workers were facing life changing inventions, as the Industrial Revolution became the catalyst to transform economies based on steam-powered machines. These machines were found in mills and factories. The merchandise they produced was previously handcrafted by experienced cottage workers who then became redundant like the “stocking knitters”. Jeopardising the textile industry, making tens of thousands of skilled workers unemployed. Until the rain of Queen Victoria, England’s population was primarily rural. The explosion of the industrial revolution led to these skilled workers migrating to cities where they worked in massive factories on low wages therefore, swapping their country cottages for urban slums in densely populated cities.


Farming during the 19th century was also transformed by mechanisation, as the growing population demanded more food production thus farmhands became increasingly unemployed, as a tractors and farming machinery replaced of thousands of farm labourers, therefore a contributing to The Great Depression that lasted from 1929 to the late 1930s. Agriculture and farm policy was transformed where “more than half of the US population were employed in Agricultural work”, (Economic Research service USDA) the new highly mechanised farm then employed only a tiny share of these workers while replacing others with 5 million tractors. Thus contributing to mass unemployment during this era.


Unemployment continued apace during the 20th century, when robots were introduced into car manufacturing. The robotic systems evolved from simple repetitive tasks, which reduced the quantity of factory workers, which kept costs down. By 1979, the Fiat Motor Company, had the tagline, “hand built by robots”, the assembly line now has migrated from workers to robots. Robotics are predicted to replace as many as “20 million factory jobs by 2030” according to an analysis firm, Oxford Economics, “People displaced from these jobs, are likely to find that comparable rolls in the services sector have also been squeezed by automation” action will need to be taken to prevent inequality as skilled jobs will be jeopardised in the industry. The more repetitive the job, the greater the risk of it being lost to robotics.


Currently, in the 21st century the technological revolution is building momentum and impacting unemployment. Amazon, the retail company, is a dominant player in destroying the retail industry. Amazon has been linked to the destruction of jobs in the retail industry, although they hire many thousands of workers, they’re likely to destroy 4 times the amount they employ in the retail sector. This is defined as ‘technological unemployment’. The entire retail section should’ve grown by 1.1 million jobs since 2007 but has only grown by 234 000. Amazon has become the most efficient and profitable retailor on the planet. Contributing many established retailors like Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, Intu Properties, Go Outdoors, Monsoon Accessorize, who have all gone into administration according to “Gone Bust” (Centre for Retail Research). Amazon went live in 1995 and has led the way in the 21st century to online grocery shopping, video streaming and gaming. The introduction of amazon robotics increases speed of delivery and enable lower costs for customers thus jeopardising employment on the High Street which culminates in how artificial inelegance has jeopardised employment.