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Donald Trump roar to the U.S electorate blamed the loss of millions of jobs on Mexico and China. He might want to blame robots and automation instead. Despite Trump's charges that "we do not make anything anymore." Manufacturing is still flourishing in America. Ford/ General Motors had one of the best years ever and cars are running off the line at one per minute with three shifts a day working to capacity.

General Motor now employs less then one third of the 600,000 workers that it had employed in the 1970's; yet it still churns out more cars and trucks.

But, the problem is that factories do not need as many people as they used to because machines do much of the work that used to be done by unskilled people. Computers do the tasks more proficiently, quicker and cheaper with little or no hands on help needed to complete the tasks.

America has lost more then seven million factory/jobs since manufacturing peaked in 1979. Yet, to-day American factory production has more then doubled over the same span to nearly $2 trillion a year.

There is no arguments that trade has claimed some American jobs to China and India. Industries that relied heavily on labour like textiles have lost jobs and production to low-wage foreign competition. Most of my no-iron shirts and sweaters that I buy from the Gap were made in China, Bangladesh. The U.S textile manufacturing is down 46% since the year 2000.

But, research shows that automation of American factories is a much bigger factor then foreign trade losses. The vast majority of job losses were because of automation. The simple answer is that industry is making more with fewer people involved.

The economics of robotics are hard to argue with the experts predicting that in the next 10 years 40% of careers that exist now will be redundant. White and Blue collar workers will discover that what was was and what is is. Law school students will find it hard to find articling positions because computers are lightening fast at exploring case studies. Post secondary students will not have a lecturer in every class to instruct the class. When I visited Northern College in South Porcupine the lecturer was connected to three other far away campuses via Skype. The likes of Google and IBM Watson cognitive systems will foster a partnership between people and computers.

I still remember my first job in construction digging a trench on University Drive with a pick and shovel. Along came a slight man driving his back hoe and in a few minutes with little or no physical work the asphalt was loaded into a dump truck. I admit that I was devastated that my muscles were no match for the genius metal giant.

My career testing answers sheets used to be mailed to area 905 for scoring that used to take three days . Now, my testing goes to Edmonton Alberta to Psycometric's Canada and I receive eighteen page print-outs in one minute for my clients to explore.

Canadians/Americans can not compete with the low cost of labour in Asia for hands on work. What we want to do is to continue to automate and let attrition reduce the work force and then we can compete with anyone. The magic formula for meaningful employment for a decent standard-of-living is a post secondary education along with a positive good work ethic and the desire to embrace positive change.

Expect to change your career focus often to keep up with the future expectations of industry, business, medicine and technology.

Not to worry: Our young people to-day are consumnivores : collectively rummaging, consuming, distributing content in byte-size portions. When television was first aired the gloom and doom people predicted the end of movies never ever thinking that Netflix would be the rage. We don't use "slow mail" as much but young and old people are still keeping in touch with cell phone texting and the internet.

Len Lesser is a education/career counselor who would be lost without his computer.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com