Automation might appear to be a steady, long-term trend. It might seem at first sight that any rise in unemployment will make human labour relatively cheaper, thus slowing companies’ move to technology. Make no mistake. Mark Muro, Robert Maxim and Jacob Whiton at Brookings argue that this is not the case:
Robots’ infiltration of the workforce doesn’t occur at a steady, gradual pace. Instead, automation happens in bursts, concentrated especially in bad times such as in the wake of economic shocks, when humans become relatively more expensive as firms’ revenues rapidly decline. At these moments, employers shed less-skilled workers and replace them with technology and higher-skilled workers, which increases labor productivity as a recession tapers off.The robots are ready as the COVID-19 recession spreads
Here are their estimations for current-tasks automation potential (published one year ago); very much in line with the famous study by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, published in 2013.