That is not to say that high levels of automation cannot coexist with low unemployment. Singapore and South Korea are at the top of the rankings for deployment of robots compared to the size of the workforce and yet they enjoy low unemployment.

Nevertheless, Frey warns of rising anxiety about robots stealing jobs once the immediate fear of the coronavirus recedes.

But he doubts a worldwide movement against automation will gain traction as job losses are a local phenomenon and tend to happen in regions that have long suffered from manufacturing jobs disappearing.