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Does The Emergence of CNC Machining Mean More Or Fewer Jobs For Machinists

I was just scanning the Monster.com jobs board for machinist jobs / listings by using their search box and the search word “machinist”. I was pleased to see more than 1,000 job listings for “machinists”.

Looking at the listings I saw numerious openings referring to CNC. I saw fewer specific references to “manual machinist”, but there were still plenty. It’s not yet an “all computers, all the time” machining world.

Which raises an interesting question: If we have “machines doing it” does that ultimately mean that there will be less demand for machinists, OR, by having more work performed “by automation” might that drive down production costs and increase demand for machined goods and machinists to handle the production?

Also, has automation of machining leveled the international production playing field by decreasing reliance on manual labor? In other words, as automation of production increasingly takes hold, will vast pools of cheap labor eventually fail to yield a “production advantage” . . . when labor becomes a less dominant cost per units of machined goods produced?

This is likely “big labor market math” but it’s certainly an issue I’d like to better understand.

Will automation of machining enable “rusk belt” States in the USA to re-emerge as machinery manufacturing centers? What do you think? Is automation an boon or a bust for the skilled trades in countries where labor costs are traditionally higher?