A top-of-the-line E5 is the size of a postage stamp, retails for $4,115, and uses about 60 percent more energy per year than a large Whirlpool refrigerator. You use them whenever you search Google, hail an Uber, or let your kids stream Episode 3 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in your car. These feats of computer science are often attributed to the rise of the smartphone, but the hard work is being done on thousands of servers. And pretty much all of those servers run on Intel chips.

we must turn the nearly 60 million low-wage service jobs in food preparation, retail, and childcare into higher-wage, family-supporting jobs. This is analogous to what we did during the New Deal, when we turned low-wage factory jobs into high-paid middle-class jobs. If we were willing to pay a little more for our cars and appliances to create a middle class in the last century, surely we can afford to pay more in this one to the people who serve us food and care for our kids and aging parents.

researchers estimate that half of the job losses resulted from robots directly replacing workers. The rest of the jobs disappeared from elsewhere in the local community ... after a factory sheds workers, that economic pain reverberates, triggering further unemployment at, say, the grocery store or the neighborhood car dealership ... some consultants believe that the number of industrial robots will quadruple in the next decade, which could mean millions more displaced manufacturing workers.

Parts suppliers in the American South compete for low-margin orders against suppliers in Mexico and Asia. They promise delivery schedules they can’t possibly meet and face ruinous penalties if they fall short. Employees work ungodly hours, six or seven days a week, for months on end. Pay is low, turnover is high, training is scant, and safety is an afterthought... Many of the same woes that typify work conditions at contract manufacturers across Asia now bedevil parts plants in the South.

In the US, the number of manufacturing jobs peaked in 1979 and has steadily decreased ever since. At the same time, manufacturing has steadily increased, with the US now producing more goods than any other country but China. Machines aren’t just taking the place of humans on the assembly line. They’re doing a better job. And all this before the coming wave of AI upends so many other sectors of the economy.

Not every job in the Speedfactory will be automated. Robots can be slower and less precise at some tasks... So each Speedfactory will create 160 production jobs, compared with a thousand or more in a typical factory in Asia. The new functions will also be more highly skilled. Adidas wants the new plants to complement the Asian operations, not to compete with them. But as advanced manufacturing expands, the need for armies of manual workers in Asian factories will surely diminish.

So-called advanced manufacturing, which is highly specialized and requires a facility with computers, is actually expanding. The U.S. economy will need to fill 3.5 million skilled manufacturing jobs over the next decade...This is an industry that employs skilled and educated workers such as engineers and scientists ... Manufacturing output continues to rise in the U.S., and the average factory worker makes $180,000 worth of goods every year, more than three times what he produced in 1978.

Employing a human welder in a factory in the U.S. costs about $25 per hour including benefits, according to a 2015 study by the Boston Consulting Group; that drops to just $8 per hour for a robot, including installation, operating costs and maintenance. By 2030, "the operating cost per hour for a robot doing similar welding tasks could plunge to as little as $2 when improvements in performance are factored in," BCG said.

Virtually all the 11.6 million jobs created since 2010 went to workers with some kind of postsecondary education... Workers with a four-year college degree were hired for nearly 3 out of every 4 positions. Those with a high school diploma or less saw almost no recovery in demand for their labor... By 2020, 2 of every 3 jobs will require some kind of postsecondary education. And most of these jobs will be in services like health care, customer service, and food prep...not the manufacturing sector

Factory workers in America and Europe often blame China for stealing their jobs ... Yet many of the worries that have recently animated Western voters are common in China, too. Working-class Chinese, as well as...the new middle class, fret about rising inequality, the impact of mass migration from the countryside into cities... Among blue-collar workers, a structural shift in China’s economy, from labour-intensive manufacturing to higher-tech industries and services, is fuelling job insecurity.