Automation may increase number of well-paying jobs, expert says

Could automation create more jobs?
Could automation create more jobs?

Automation can actually increase the number of well-paying jobs in the market, said James Bessen, a lecturer at the Boston University School of Law.

"People think about automation in very static terms and the economy is very dynamic. When you automate something, you not only save costs, you also lower prices or increase product quality," Bessen told CNBC's "Closing Bell."

He said there was a similar anxiety about automation in the banking industry when ATMs first arrived. Bessen explained that people were worried that there would be huge losses in the number of bank teller jobs. Instead, the number of teller jobs increased because it made it less expensive for banks to open new branch offices, Bessen said.

"A lot of good jobs are being created and workers acquire new skills and are moving up the scale," he said.

Bessen said, however, that these gains in wages and available jobs won't be witnessed in every industry. For example, automation seems to have a "very clear" effect on job replacement, he said. As automation increases, workers will need more skills in order to compete.

"It's not just education though, and I think that's an important point. An awful lot of the skills that are needed in these new jobs don't necessarily require a college diploma, but they do require a different way of working with things," Bessen said, adding that new jobs often require personal skills and different ways of thinking and being creative.