A new report lays out “automation risk” in a range of U.S. cities. They’re not talking about worker injuries or the danger of losing money by automating before optimizing systems. They’re talking about the risk of losing human jobs to automation. In other words, it’s the fear of robots taking over people’s jobs.
States at risk
As far as states go, Nevada has the most automation risk to worry about. Dealers in casinos have a 96% chance of being replaced by robots in the near future, and Nevada has a lot of those workers. Nearly half of the workers in Nevada could be ousted by automation in the foreseeable future.
South Dakota comes in next to Nevada, possibly because it has lots of retail and warehousing workers. Two of South Dakota’s neighbor states, Wyoming and Montana, are also in the top 5 riskiest states.
Workers in Reno have a near even chance of losing their jobs to automation, with almost 49% at risk.
Dalton, Georgia can expect to lose more than half of its human workers to automation-led unemployment. Dalton is the Floor Covering Capital of the World, and relies heavily on manufacturing.
On the east coast, The Villages, Florida, is also in the over 50% group. They have a service economy, with healthcare and retail listed as the most important employers in the area.
Among large metro areas, Las Vegas leads the pack with more than 49% of jobs at risk. Other threatened cities include Memphis, St. Louis, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Dallas, and Grand Rapids, showing that automation is likely to affect workers nearly all over the country.
Los Angeles brings up the rear of this list with 42.6% of jobs at risk.
Is it geography?
Northeastern cities like New York (39%) and Boston (33%) did not show up in the high risk list, but Western cities like San Fransisco and Southern cities like Raleigh also showed up in the list towns with only one third of their workers at risk.
The researchers saw the biggest differences based on the most important industries in the towns they studied. Some occupations are more subject to automation risk than others. Repetitive jobs requiring less creativity are more easily automated, after all.
But they also found that higher-paid jobs were less vulnerable than lower-paid jobs. The overall affluence of a region had an effect on its rankings.
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