There is no doubt that Rossi Energy Catalyzers will require fewer workers than conventional sources such as fossil fuel, wind or fission.
The 1.2 million people in this sector will be replaced with a few thousand people, who manufacture specialized cold fusion related materials and equipment such as finely divided nickel or purified hydrogen. Most energy will be built into the product. For example, automobile engines will have a supply of powder and nickel built in, which is replaced about as often as lubricating oil is now. It will not take any more production line employees to fabricate these engines than it now takes to fabricate something like a Prius hybrid engine.
Rossi Energty Catalyzers will not call for more expensive materials, greater precision, or more labor than conventional engines do, and of course there is no need for fuel. So everyone employed in extracting, purifying, transporting, or refueling engines of all types will be out of a job. In the transportation sector, all of those people will be replaced by a handful of auto mechanics who swap out the powder and hydrogen tank once a year, or once every 5 years.
The electric power and natural gas sectors will vanish completely in the time it takes to replace space heating HVAC equipment, water heaters, and so on. That’s about 15 years in the residential sector, and 30 in the commercial sector. However, once the electric power and other energy utility companies lose a about a third of the customers and revenues they will collapse. This should happen roughly 8 years into the transition.
The U.S. Post Office has lost about 37% of its First Class business because of e-mail and it is on the verge of collapse. European and Japanese post offices survive, but they are downsized. The Japanese Post Office still doubles as a banking and insurance system, I believe.
Twenty years into the transition, there may be a handful of companies still selling oil extracted from the ground, or electricity from hydroelectric dams or fission reactors. They will be bankrupt, and probably supported by last-ditch government loans to prop up a dying industry. We may need to do prop them up long enough for the remaining houses and buildings to be cut over to cold fusion powered equipment. The last gasoline powered cars and gas stations will be long gone. When gas stations lose even 5% of their business, they close in droves. It is a marginal business, hardly profitable in the best of times.
There may be a few oil companies selling natural oil from the ground for plastic feedstock or other industrial uses, but I expect it will be cheaper to synthesize hydrocarbons on site at the factories that need them.
To summarize, if we decide to live more or less the way we do now, consuming about as much energy per capita as we do now, with roughly as much transportation, space-heating, illumination, data transmission and so on, then cold fusion will reduce overall employment by 1.2 million people.
But, if we decide to do megaprojects that only Rossi Energy Catalyzers and cold fusion devices would allow, such as irrigating the deserts and colonizing other planets, overall employment might increase. Perhaps. But I think advances in computers and robotics will reduce employment so much that even megaprojects will not make up for it. Consider that even now, there are more unemployed people in China than the entire U.S. workforce.