The chal­lenge of the “great mi­gra­tion”

Why the temp­ta­tion to com­pen­sate pop­u­la­tion losses with im­mi­grants is dan­ger­ous

The Ukrainian Week - - CONTENTS - Olek­sandr Kra­mar

The whirl­wind of the lat­est "great mi­gra­tion of peo­ples", which has spread to more and more coun­tries in re­cent decades, is rapidly ap­proach­ing Ukraine. On this path, we will have to face chal­lenges that other coun­tries have al­ready ex­pe­ri­enced in the past or con­tinue to ex­pe­ri­ence. How­ever, we have the chance to avoid fall­ing into the same traps that they did. In­stead, by tak­ing ad­van­tage of the lat­est tech­no­log­i­cal and so­cio-eco­nomic trends from around the world, we can ac­count for the ex­pe­ri­ence of oth­ers and avoid many chal­lenges they have en­coun­tered or will face in the near fu­ture.

NE­GLECTED BY THEIR OWN

Start­ing from the early 1990s, Ukraine pri­mar­ily en­tered the era of the "great mi­gra­tion" as a donor coun­try — a huge part of the pop­u­la­tion rushed to other coun­tries and even other con­ti­nents in search of a bet­ter life on a tem­po­rary or per­ma­nent ba­sis. The Ukrainian em­i­gra­tion of the 1990s and early 2000s was aimed pri­mar­ily to­wards re­mote places in West­ern Europe and North Amer­ica. Even those mi­grants who did not dare ad­mit to them­selves that they were never go­ing to re­turn rarely vis­ited their home­land due to ob­jec­tive fi­nan­cial and ge­o­graph­i­cal rea­sons. In­stead, they grad­u­ally en­ticed friends and rel­a­tives to their new lands. FEWER LABOUR RE­SOURCES WILL MEAN FEWER PROB­LEMS FIND­ING PLACES FOR SO-CALLED SU­PER­FLU­OUS WORK­ERS WHEN AR­TI­FI­CIAL IN­TEL­LI­GENCE AND RO­BOTS START TO AC­TIVELY FORCE HU­MANS OUT OF THE ECON­OMY

The se­cond wave of Ukraini­ans search­ing for a bet­ter for­tune out­side their na­tive land be­gan rel­a­tively re­cently and con­tin­ues to this day. A new char­ac­ter­is­tic is that il­le­gal im­mi­grants are fewer and far­ther be­tween, as they take ad­van­tage of the charms of the visa-free regime and lib­er­alised reg­u­la­tions for mi­grant work­ers in new EU mem­ber states. On their part, these coun­tries feel a strong ef­fect from the mas­sive out­flow of their own ci­ti­zens that work in richer coun­tries of the Schen­gen Zone. This wave of mi­gra­tion car­ries out a much higher amount of trips back and forth and has a much larger sea­sonal com­po­nent than was the case in the 1990s and early 2000s. Our com­pa­tri­ots fo­cus mainly on EU coun­tries lo­cated next to Ukraine. Nev­er­the­less, the pro­por­tion of those there who are no longer con­sid­er­ing a re­turn to their na­tive coun­try to look for a job is grow­ing.

In the short term, the cur­rent wave of mas­sive labour mi­gra­tion from Ukraine could have a much larger in­flu­ence on the do­mes­tic labour mar­ket. While the Na­tional Bank of Ukraine, as vicechair­man Dmytro Solo­hub re­cently said, re­joices in its pos­i­tive im­pact for bal­anc­ing the de­mand and sup­ply of for­eign cur­rency in the coun­try (this year, pay­ments from labour­ers are ex­pected to reach $11.6 bil­lion and then at least $12.2 bil­lion next year), this coin has two sides. Gain­ing ever-greater mag­ni­tude, this process ex­ac­er­bates the short­age of work­ers in a num­ber of sec­tors of the Ukrainian econ­omy, while at the same time stim­u­lat­ing the de­mand for goods and ser­vices from the rel­a­tives of em­i­grants, in ad­di­tion to some of the mi­grant work­ers them­selves, de­pend­ing on the sea­son. How­ever, as worker short­ages are un­even across in­dus­tries, the rapid in­crease of de­mand and much slower wage growth in the re­spec­tive sec­tors have re­cently been com­pen­sated for not by re­train­ing per­son­nel from other parts of the na­tional econ­omy or the un­skilled un­em­ployed, but by grad­u­ally fill­ing the cor­re­spond­ing niches with im­mi­grants from other coun­tries that are sig­nif­i­cantly poorer than ours and whose in­hab­i­tants find it ever more dif­fi­cult to get into the EU.

Ukrainian sta­tis­tics clearly con­firm that the key fac­tor be­hind the rapid growth of labour mi­gra­tion to EU coun­tries is not a short­age of jobs or an in­crease in un­em­ploy­ment in the coun­try, but the de­sire for higher earn­ings from those who could eas­ily find work in their home­land. Af­ter all, in re­cent years the rate of re­duc­tion in the num­ber of jobs in Ukraine has sharply slowed down even when com­pared to the pre-war years of 2010 to 2013. In­ter­nal mi­grants, par­tic­u­larly in the con­struc­tion sec­tor, in­creas­ingly de­mand wages at the same level as in neigh­bour­ing EU coun­tries, since "it makes no difference" where they work — in the main eco­nomic cen­tres of Ukraine, Poland or the Czech Re­pub­lic. At the same time, the labour sup­ply on the do­mes­tic mar­ket is also rapidly de­creas­ing for nat­u­ral rea­sons: the gen­er­a­tional struc­ture is deeply asym­met­ri­cal. Peo­ple born dur­ing the de­mo­graphic pit­fall of the late-1990s early-2000s are join­ing the work­force while the much more nu­mer­ous gen­er­a­tion of post-war 1950s baby boomers are leav­ing it. There is more than a twofold difference in size be­tween them. For ex­am­ple, in 1950 and 1960, 840,000 and 870,000 peo­ple re­spec­tively were born in Ukraine, but only 385,000 in 2000. Con­sid­er­ing that a sig­nif­i­cant part of this young gen­er­a­tion leaves the coun­try ei­ther as labour mi­grants or as part of the grow­ing num­ber of for­eign stu­dents who, for the most part, do not plan to re­turn ei­ther, there is only one work­ing-age Ukrainian join­ing the do­mes­tic labour mar­ket for ev­ery three or four older ci­ti­zens that are re­tir­ing. Youth un­em­ploy­ment is ei­ther due to re­gional dif­fer­ences and/or much higher ex­pec­ta­tions than em­ploy­ees are will­ing to of­fer within the cur­rent eco­nomic model.

AT­TRAC­TIVE TO OTH­ERS

At the same time, the flow of for­eign­ers to Ukraine, mostly from Asian coun­tries, con­tin­ues and is even slowly grow­ing, while im­mi­gra­tion from Africa has picked up too. Africans have ac­tively started

to look for a place to ap­ply them­selves more ef­fec­tively due to the de­mo­graphic ex­plo­sion, in­crease in un­em­ploy­ment, lim­ited nat­u­ral re­sources and, above all, scarce food on their home con­ti­nent. There are at least 5-6 chan­nels for such mi­gra­tion. They in­clude stud­ies in Ukraine that end with a de­sire to stay there, additions to large fam­ily clans that have al­ready set­tled in the coun­try through fam­ily re­uni­fi­ca­tion or mar­riages and hir­ing il­le­gal im­mi­grants to work in re­tail, ser­vices or man­u­fac­tur­ing in the shadow econ­omy. All the way up to at­tempts to ob­tain refugee sta­tus in Ukraine, un­suc­cess­ful at­tempts to reach the EU through the coun­try and those smug­gled by rare but ag­gres­sive eth­nic crim­i­nal groups.

Of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics show that since 2005, Ukraine has seen a steady in­crease in mi­gra­tion. That is to say, the amount of those of­fi­cially mov­ing there ex­ceeds the num­ber of peo­ple that have left the coun­try. Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures, this amounts to about 15,000 peo­ple an­nu­ally, which has for years com­pen­sated the 5-8% nat­u­ral pop­u­la­tion de­cline due to the fact that the mor­tal­ity rate in Ukraine is higher than the birth rate. Ev­ery year, at least 20-30 thou­sand im­mi­grants ar­rive in the coun­try. In to­tal, al­most 265,000 peo­ple were of­fi­cially reg­is­tered as im­mi­grants with the State Mi­gra­tion Ser­vice at the be­gin­ning of 2018. In 2015, 16,700 of­fi­cial im­mi­gra­tion per­mits were is­sued, in 2016 15,100 and 15,700 in 2017. In ad­di­tion, tens of thou­sands of for­eign­ers an­nu­ally re­ceive of­fi­cial tem­po­rary res­i­dence cards or have their cur­rent doc­u­ments pro­longed. The num­ber of per­ma­nent and tem­po­rary res­i­dence cards given to for­eign­ers in Ukraine is grow­ing year on year too: about 83,000 in 2015, around 89,000 in 2016 and al­most 94,200 in 2017. From 2015-2017, the State Mi­gra­tion Ser­vice is­sued 81,600 per­mits for per­ma­nent res­i­dence alone.

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial State Sta­tis­tics Ser­vice, the ma­jor­ity of im­mi­grants are peo­ple from Asia and Africa. For ex­am­ple, out of the 280,600 that ar­rived in Ukraine from 2010 to 2016, 162,200 (58%) came from those two con­ti­nents. More­over, in 2016 their share ex­ceeded 74%, al­though it was less than 37% in 2011. To be more pre­cise, be­tween 2010-2016 22,100 peo­ple from Africa mi­grated to Ukraine, 16,400 from Turk­menistan, 12,800 from Azer­bai­jan, 12,000 from Uzbek­istan, 6,100 from other Cen­tral Asian coun­tries, 7,500 from Ge­or­gia, 7,200 from Turkey and 5,900 from Ar­me­nia. The fact that Ukraine has an un­lim­ited visa-free regime with all states in the Cau­ca­sus and Uzbek­istan con­trib­utes to this ge­o­graph­i­cal spread: their ci­ti­zens can even re­main in the coun­try all year round. In re­cent years, the share of im­mi­grants from Africa has sharply in­creased from 10.5% of all im­mi­grants in 2015 to 16% in 2016 (the 2017 data on coun­tries of ori­gin has not yet been dis­closed). In 2010-2011, they rep­re­sented less than 1% of all ar­rivals. Most other im­mi­grants hail from the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion, es­pe­cially from poorer re­gions and the North Cau­casian re­publics. From 2010 to 2016, 87,600 of them moved to Ukraine — 31.2% of the to­tal flow of im­mi­grants over this pe­riod. How­ever, fol­low­ing the start of the Rus­sian ag­gres­sion, both the to­tal num­ber and the share of Rus­sian ci­ti­zens de­clined, and by 2016 they ac­counted for less than 24% of all le­gal im­mi­grants. As for of­fi­cially recog­nised refugees in Ukraine, more than 57% are from Afghanistan.

At the same time, the lion's share of for­eign­ers set­tled in Ukraine are young men and women. For ex­am­ple, in 2016, ac­cord­ing to the State Sta­tis­tics Ser­vice, men aged 15-34 made up 44% of all im­mi­grants and more than 65% of male im­mi­grants, while women of the same age rep­re­sented 17.3% of all im­mi­grants and more than 52% of im­mi­grant women. Many of them have al­ready given birth to chil­dren in Ukraine, who in turn legally re­ceive cit­i­zen­ship. In­deed, ac­cord­ing to cur­rent leg­is­la­tion, a com­pre­hen­sive list of chil­dren of for­eign­ers and state­less per­sons has the right to ob­tain cit­i­zen­ship. More pre­cisely, it is awarded "by ter­ri­to­rial ori­gin" to chil­dren who "were born on the ter­ri­tory of Ukraine af­ter 24 Au­gust 1991, did not ac­quire Ukrainian cit­i­zen­ship at birth and are a state­less per­son or a for­eigner". Or "by birthright" to those who "were born on the ter­ri­tory of Ukraine to state­less per­sons legally re­sid­ing in Ukraine", "were born out­side of Ukraine to state­less per­sons per­ma­nently re­sid­ing legally in Ukraine and did not ac­quire the cit­i­zen­ship of an­other state at birth"," were born in Ukraine to for­eign­ers legally res­i­dent in Ukraine and did not ac­quire the cit­i­zen­ship of ei­ther par­ent at birth", "were born in Ukraine, have one par­ent who has been granted refugee sta­tus or asy­lum in Ukraine and did not ac­quire the cit­i­zen­ship of ei­ther par­ent at birth or ac­quired the cit­i­zen­ship of the par­ent that has been granted refugee sta­tus or asy­lum in Ukraine", "were born in Ukraine to a for­eigner and state­less per­son legally res­i­dent in Ukraine and did not ac­quire the cit­i­zen­ship of the for­eigner at birth". Data from the State Mi­gra­tion Ser­vice in­di­cates 11,200 peo­ple gained cit­i­zen­ship by birth or ter­ri­to­rial ori­gin in 2014, 10,300 peo­ple in 2015, 14,600 in 2016 and 20,200 in 2017. This in­cludes 4,700 by birthright in 2014, 6,600 in 2015, 10,600 in 2016 and 16,600 by 2017. As we can see, there was an al­most 3.5-fold in­crease in just 3 years. The to­tal num­ber of peo­ple to ac­quire cit­i­zen­ship "by birthright" over these four years was 38,500, and if we in­clude those "by ter­ri­to­rial ori­gin" this fig­ure grows to 56,300. Ad­di­tion­ally, in a num­ber of im­mi­grant com­mu­ni­ties the prac­tice of mar­ry­ing women from their coun­tries and eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties of ori­gin is wide­spread, which, in turn, cre­ates an­other size­able chan­nel for ob­tain­ing the right to live in Ukraine on an of­fi­cial ba­sis. Ac­cord­ing to State Mi­gra­tion Ser­vice data, in­vi­ta­tions for the en­try of for­eign­ers and state­less per­sons are an im­por­tant source for re­plen­ish­ing the ranks of im­mi­grants in Ukraine (11,100 in 2014, 15,900 in 2015, 19,800 in 2016 and 5,900 in 2017).

Ad­di­tional mea­sures to re­strict the flow of im­mi­grants to EU coun­tries that are cur­rently be­ing devel­oped could sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease the at­trac­tive­ness of Ukraine. Ac­cord­ing to the State Cus­toms Ser­vice, in only five months (Jan­uary-May 2018), more than 4,000 il­le­gal mi­grants were dis­cov­ered in Ukraine — and those are only the of­fi­cially doc­u­mented cases. To make it clear, this is only 10-11 times less than the amount of il­le­gals found in the en­tire EU over the same pe­riod. In to­tal for 2017, more than 9,700 il­le­gal mi­grants were dis­cov­ered in Ukraine. At the same time, sev­eral hun­dred vi­o­la­tors of Ukrainian leg­is­la­tion on the le­gal sta­tus of for­eign­ers and state­less per­sons are caught ev­ery week in the coun­try. It is ob­vi­ous that in all these cases we can only see the tip of the ice­berg as far as il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion and vi­o­la­tions of leg­is­la­tion on the res­i­dency of for­eign­ers is con­cerned. The bulk of it re­mains im­per­cep­ti­ble to gov­ern­ment agen­cies, or is at least not re­flected in their of­fi­cial doc­u­ments. Af­ter all, turn­ing a blind eye to il­le­gal im­mi­grants has long been a prof­itable busi­ness that com­pen­sates for the rather mod­est of­fi­cial in­comes of the pub­lic ser­vants re­spon­si­ble for this field.

LEARN FROM OTH­ERS' MIS­TAKES WITH­OUT RE­PEAT­ING THEM

As we see, the dy­namic growth of the num­ber of im­mi­grants in Ukraine, even de­spite the un­favourable so­cio-eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion in the opin­ion of many Ukraini­ans, in­di­cates a high prob­a­bil­ity that we will in­creas­ingly fol­low the "great mi­gra­tion of peo­ples" model in the near fu­ture, ac­cord­ing to which richer new EU mem­ber states (Poland, Lithua­nia, Czech Re­pub­lic) and poorer old ones (Spain, Italy, Por­tu­gal) have been developing for quite some time. In 2016, 2,800 of­fi­cial res­i­dence per­mits for em­ploy­ment alone were is­sued and 4,700 in 2017. If every­thing de­vel­ops ac­cord­ing to the base­line sce­nario, this could be boosted by ever more ac­tive lob­by­ing from Ukrainian em­ploy­ers. Af­ter all, the Party of Re­gions pro­posed a strat­egy of "sim­ple" ways to solve the prob­lem of labour short­ages in the main eco­nomic cen­tres of the coun­try dur­ing the post-cri­sis eco­nomic re­cov­ery of 2010-2011. Mi­gra­tion was sug­gested by both Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Ser­hiy Ti­hipko and for­mer trade union leader Olek­sandr Stoyan, who an­nounced in spring 2011 that "by the end of the year we will have to bring in peo­ple from abroad, be­cause we will not have enough work­ers". Al­though the next cri­sis and then the war in­ter­rupted the im­ple­men­ta­tion of these plans at the state level, the quiet in­flux of mi­grants to Ukraine has been con­tin­u­ing for a long time and is grad­u­ally gain­ing mo­men­tum.

How­ever, build­ing a strat­egy by go­ing down the same road as a num­ber of Euro­pean states — fill­ing va­cant jobs with for­eign­ers — would be dis­as­trous. The West is al­ready mov­ing away from it due to the ob­vi­ous chal­lenges and threats caused by a mas­sive in­flux of for­eign­ers from an­other cul­tural and civ­i­liza­tional en­vi­ron­ment that are not pre­pared to in­te­grate. In Ukraine, these chal­lenges are com­ple­mented by the specifics of the coun­try. Af­ter all, the main places where for­eign mi­grants are cur­rently con­cen­trated are cities in the South East and, to a lesser ex­tent, the Cen­tre and other re­gions with the high­est rates of nat­u­ral pop­u­la­tion de­cline and age­ing. For ex­am­ple, ac­cord­ing to the State Sta­tis­tics Ser­vice, in 2016 more than 83% of all im­mi­grants were lo­cated in cities — usu­ally the largest in the coun­try or their sur­round­ing ar­eas. Ac­cord­ing to data from the State Mi­gra­tion Ser­vice, the lion's share of il­le­gal im­mi­grants are found in the main eco­nomic cen­tres of the coun­try — more than 17% for the first five months of 2018 (15% in 2017) in Kyiv and the sur­round­ing re­gion, 14.5% (15.5% in 2017) in the Kharkiv Re­gion, more than 11% (10.1% in 2017) in the Odesa Re­gion and 10.5% (un­changed from 2017) in the Dnipropetro­vsk Re­gion and Za­por­izhia.

In to­tal, these re­gions ac­count for more than half of all de­tected il­le­gal im­mi­grants. Since the Ukraini­an­i­sa­tion of cities in the Cen­tre, not to men­tion the South-East, leaves much to be de­sired, the new set­tlers, in the ab­sence of an ef­fec­tive in­te­gra­tion pol­icy, will be Rus­si­fied and re­plen­ish the ranks of the post-colo­nial masses that ex­pe­ri­ence strong nos­tal­gia for the Soviet past and are in­dif­fer­ent or even scep­ti­cal to­wards the Ukrainian state and its in­ter­ests.

GLOOMY PROSPECTS

The im­mi­gra­tion op­tion for solv­ing de­mo­graphic prob­lems also has a so­cio-eco­nomic as­pect. If any­one be­lieves that im­mi­grants will pay Ukraini­ans' pen­sions and pro­vide for their old age, they are deeply mis­taken. Firstly, in all Euro­pean coun­tries, such mi­grants gen­er­ally have not shown and con­tinue not to show a de­sire to as­sim­i­late in the com­mu­ni­ties of the coun­tries they move to. Sec­ondly, they have no par­tic­u­lar de­sire to pay taxes or spend their own hard-earned cash on main­tain­ing high so­cial stan­dards in these coun­tries. The role of fam­ily/clan re­la­tions is de­ci­sive in the ma­jor­ity of com­mu­ni­ties that sup­ply po­ten­tial mi­grants to Ukraine and they ful­fil the ba­sic func­tions of mu­tual as­sis­tance and sup­port of so­cially vul­ner­a­ble groups or the el­derly. There­fore, they have the ten­dency to work within the cor­rupt model of the shadow econ­omy, which is much more dan­ger­ous for Ukraine than for EU coun­tries, as it al­ready has se­ri­ous prob­lems with the phe­nom­e­non. Nev­er­the­less, the mi­grants them­selves of­ten se­ri­ously suf­fer be­cause of this.

Against the back­drop of the is­sues that Ukraine has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing over the past decades, the high-tech dis­course in eco­nom­i­cally devel­oped coun­tries can look like some­thing verg­ing on sci­ence fic­tion, as mod­ern tech­nolo­gies reach us in lim­ited quan­ti­ties. Nev­er­the­less, the Third In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion is rag­ing on. Re­cently, the prospects and chal­lenges re­lated to the tran­si­tion to the Fourth In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion with its ro­botic au­to­ma­tion and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence for man­ag­ing pro­duc­tion pro­cesses are be­ing dis­cussed more and more ac­tively. As a re­sult, the in­creas­ingly ob­vi­ous con­se­quence of the Third (not to men­tion the Fourth) In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion is a se­ri­ous re­duc­tion in jobs. Ox­ford Univer­sity ex­perts warn that by the 2030s peo­ple in devel­oped coun­tries will yield al­most half of their jobs to ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence. Re­cently, Bri­tish com­pany Verisk Maple­croft, which spe­cialises in risk man­age­ment, re­leased a re­port say­ing that 56% of cur­rent em­ploy­ees in the largest pro­duc­tion cen­tres of developing coun­tries such as Viet­nam, In­done­sia, Thai­land and Cam­bo­dia could lose their jobs in the next 20 years due to the in­creas­ing au­to­ma­tion of man­u­fac­tur­ing.

In the con­text of the tech­no­log­i­cal changes that the world is mov­ing to­wards, it is im­por­tant for Ukraine to prevent a mass in­flux of mi­grant work­ers from Asia and Africa in or­der to com­pen­sate for the Ukraini­ans that have left for other coun­tries. In­stead, it is im­por­tant to­day to send a clear mes­sage to Ukrainian busi­nesses that cheap labour re­sources will not be brought in at any time ei­ther now or in the fu­ture. This should make them face the fact that it is nec­es­sary to aim to­wards the au­to­ma­tion of pro­duc­tion pro­cesses, make in­creas­ing prepa­ra­tions for an ever more ex­pen­sive work­force, stim­u­late the devel­op­ment of skills and adapt to mod­ern ed­u­ca­tional re­quire­ments. With­out a clear sig­nal that there will be no cheap labour, ei­ther Ukrainian or im­mi­grant, this will not hap­pen.

It is also im­por­tant to re­alise that the Third and Fourth In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tions, which are pro­gress­ing at var­i­ous speeds in dif­fer­ent coun­tries around the world, will have an in­flu­ence — di­rectly or in­di­rectly — on Ukraine in any case. Re­duc­ing the num­ber of jobs for hu­mans and re­plac­ing them with ro­bots and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence in devel­oped coun­tries will first and fore­most hit mi­grant work­ers, who will be the first peo­ple dumped out of the econ­omy. Un­like lo­cal res­i­dents, they will have sig­nif­i­cantly less chances and op­por­tu­ni­ties to claim com­pen­satory so­cial mech­a­nisms, such as the so-called ba­sic in­come. There­fore, many of them will be forced to re­turn home, trig­ger­ing re­versed move­ments of mi­grant work­ers com­pared to what has been ob­served so far. For­mer mi­grants will re­turn from richer coun­tries to their less af­flu­ent ones, which will be left by the peo­ple who im­mi­grated there to re­place them.

Since Ukraine risks be­ing left hold­ing the baby as part of this scheme, it is very im­por­tant to­day that we do not al­low our­selves to build an eco­nomic model for re­plac­ing work­ers with im­mi­grants from other coun­tries by in­er­tia. With the cur­rent ad­van­tage that labour mi­gra­tion to our coun­try has not yet reached the same scale as in other, richer Euro­pean coun­tries, there is a still chance to do a lot to en­sure we suf­fer less as a re­sult of au­to­ma­tion. Our weak­ness that is due to the rapid nat­u­ral de­crease in labour re­sources men­tioned at the be­gin­ning of this ar­ti­cle could turn into an ad­van­tage. Af­ter all, fewer labour re­sources will mean fewer prob­lems find­ing places for so-called su­per­flu­ous work­ers when ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and ro­bots start to ac­tively force hu­mans out of the econ­omy.

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