Drones Will Create 100,000 Jobs, Report Predicts

Drone pilot: job created by unmanned aircraft industryBy Tim Fernholz, Quartz

Commercial drones, which are expected to be approved for use in the U.S. in 2015, will create 100,000 jobs in 10 years, adding $13.7 billion to the American economy, according to a new study.

The study was published by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a trade association with an interest in promoting the benefits of unmanned aircraft -- the industry does not like the word "drone" -- but its assumptions offer an interesting assessment of the sector's opportunities.
Drone Use Will Mostly Be On Farms
While people are bullish about using drones for a bunch of reasons, the study expects that 90 percent of drone sales will be for agricultural purposes. A key assumption of the study is that U.S. farmers will adopt unmanned aircraft at similar rates to Japanese farmers after that government allowed their use in the early 1990s:

registered Japanese unmanned helicopters

Farmers use drones for precision crop-dusting and seeding, and scanning crops for health problems and growth rates. Japan's farmers quickly adopted Yamaha products, although the industry seems to have reached a fairly natural saturation point. This kind of "precision agriculture" allows farmers to use less pesticide, which is good news for everyone except pesticide companies.

But they won't use fewer pilots, the study says, because they expect that anyone who loses their job due to the rise of these flying robots will likely have the skills to fly or maintain them, which does raise the question of how many net new jobs will be created. Many will be in manufacturing and maintenance for these aircraft. So robots don't just take away jobs; in this case, they could add some in the United States.

More: Unemployment Falls To 7.7% As Employers Are Hiring Again

Please Don't Call Us Drones
There's a reason this trade association is releasing a jobs forecast that includes a state-by-state breakdown: The Obama administration's use of military drones has become a political touchpoint in the ongoing debate about privacy, America's military entanglements, and just how far the executive branch can bend protections on civil liberties. But UAV companies and their allies desperately need government help to get drones into the skies, financed and insured, and that won't happen if they are the target of public ire.

Hence the public case this industry is making: If it can get its birds into the skies, it can put paychecks in people's hands.

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peons will do nearly anything to pay the bills, that includes designing, building and maintaining a system that will eventually be used to control them.

March 15 2013 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let me see if I can figure out the liberal math here. Drones will create 100,000 jobs. They will take the place of planes for crop dusting. Ok, now we have a pilot out of work. But they figure that the pilots will not lose their jobs because they have the skills to fly the drones. OK, now what about the people that build and maintain the planes that will not be needed or used anymore ? How about the maintenence people for the now defunct plane. I am not an expert (I hate that term) but I would think that a plane takes alot more maintenece than a 3 foot drone. So using normal math in place of liberal math at best we could break even but that is not likely. I am not saying that is a bad thing but the math is typical liberal lies

March 15 2013 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

People are worried about being spied on but more importantly drones/robots over a persons livelihood is wrong. The people who need work the most are the least educated and the least trained. Even those with college educations are struggling without work. We need a right to livelihood a means to survive that doesn't depend on the government and that comes from businesses. Start asking of your businesses to step up.

March 15 2013 at 10:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Any person taking part in the proliferation of these Drone programs over American soil , will have the Highest of Disrespect from their fellow citizens and brothers and sisters possible and will be considered the enemy.

March 15 2013 at 10:14 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

100.000 jobs in 10 years !!!???? ridiculous, how much does a drone will cost us..tax payers ???

March 15 2013 at 10:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Destroying Our Country, our freedoms and our way of life under the guise of creating jobs, No Thanks ! Under the guise of National Security, No Thanks. There are certain technologies that simply should remain on the books and the taxpayer should flat out refuse to fund this. This Country is fine the way things are now, we don't need more prying eyes and Government intrusion in our lives.........

March 15 2013 at 10:03 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

100,000 Jobs over ten years is dramatic? Hahaha

March 15 2013 at 9:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This guy Rand Paul (GOP) Had some very good points on obama a drome.He did get the word he was out to get.Why can't my party do the same.All they have done the last 4 plus year,is trying to take more right away from us.Just maybe it is time for a change !!

March 15 2013 at 8:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We don't want/need these kind of jobs.

March 15 2013 at 7:56 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

So this report is supposed to make us feel good about Drones that can be used to attack people on the whim of cabinet level appointees by saying "It's good for the economy"? I'd rather see those 100,000 estimated "new" jobs never come to fruition then have Drones watching our every move by the Goverement be it local state or federal. By the way does not take that many people to build one folks and current employees of companies like boeing , etc., would just assign current workers over to make them and not hire new workers, so this reports a lie.

March 15 2013 at 3:13 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

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