The ONS has a nice set of statistics about how the world of work has changed over the past 170 years. Changes which underlie my insistence that the whole point of this advance and invention stuff is to destroy as many jobs as possible .
In 1841, over one in five workers (22%) were in the Agriculture and fishing industry.
This has now fallen to under 1%. But we produce an awful lot more food than we did back then.
In 1841, a third of the working population (36%) worked in manufacturing and in 1901 this was at a similar rate of 38%.
This has now fallen to 9%. And we do indeed still manufacture an awful lot more by value than we did back then.
The answer to how we did both is that we invented machines that did a lot of the work of those people. Yes, this did indeed mean that these people thus became unemployed: which was the very point of making the invention. The point of the mechanical hay baler is to make manual hay balers unemployed. The point of the robot riveter is to make human riveters unemployed.
And thus those made unemployued by the technological change can go off and work in services. Which is how we all become richer: we've now got the machines doing the food and the manufacturing, the humans doing the services and we get all three: food, manufactured goods and services.
Think about it for a moment, if we still had 22% in farming and 36% in manufacturing then that's 58% of the people. Currently 81% of the population work in services (there's a bit in construction, water etc as well). If we've 58% who cannot be in services because they're in food or manufacturing then we'd, just as in 1841, only be able to have 33% working in services. So, which half to two thirds of the services we currently do get would you like to give up simply because we don't have the people available to do them? OK, we all agree the diversity advisers can go but beyond that?
Quite. By mechanising agriculture and manufacturing we've been able to get the production of both of those that we desire and also have a vast expansion of services that we also get to enjoy. We have more thus we're richer. And that of course is the point of doing such mechanisation: to make us all richer and long may it continue.