The Bank of Korea said in its report that more attention should be paid to the potential negative effects on employment and income distribution which can result from the introduction of new robot technology.
“The use of more robots in industries will contribute to productivity improvement but, at the same time, can result in less employment and less income equality,” it mentioned, adding, “These adverse effects should be dealt with by job creation in those industries and the government needs to strengthen its income redistribution function as well.”
The global robot market showed an average annual growth of 18% from 2010 to 2015. Specifically, the figure reached 20% in the industrial robot segment, led by automated vehicle manufacturing, while the service robot segment showed an average annual growth of 16%.
The number of robots in use in South Korea showed a significant increase during the period. For example, the number of industrial robots in use per 10,000 manufacturing employees almost tripled from 171 to 531 between 2005 and 2015.
The market is likely to keep growing rapidly for the time being. According to the Bank of Korea, it is expected to grow at an annual average of 13% until 2019 with demands increasing for intelligent robots. At present, each of Japan and the EU is 1.4 years behind the United States in this market while South Korea is 4.2 years behind the U.S.