According to a study sponsored by the BMBF and carried out by the Center for European Economic Development, networked factories should create more jobs than they lose through automation. Around half of the 2032 German companies surveyed already rely on Industry 4.0 technologies, even though the total share is only 5% of all production facilities used and 8% of communications and office equipment. However, the use of the new procedures allowed them to produce at lower manufacturing costs and generate higher profits, which would then be invested by the steadily growing companies, for example, in personnel for other areas. While an annual digitization-related job growth rate of 0.2% was recorded for the period between 2011 and 2016, researchers expect this to double by 2021.
However, this does not apply equally to all sectors. While manufacturing, energy and water, electronics and vehicle manufacturing are among the beneficiaries, education, health and social services, and transport and news, and especially construction, have seen a significant decline. The companies themselves come increasingly under pressure. According to a Bitkom survey, about one-fourth sees its own existence threatened by digitization and demands the development of consistent digital policy strategies for its own support from the government.