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Metro Area Job Automation Potential Map

Estimates of jobs at risk of being automated in each region.

The automation of jobs is expected to accelerate in the coming years, and it's likely to play out differently across metro regions.

Generally speaking, regional economies with more highly-educated workforces in technology, healthcare and similar industries are expected to be more resilient to any job displacement. Economists have offered varying predictions on automation's effects on the economy. One highly-cited paper by University of Oxford professors Carl Frey and Michael Osborn estimates about 47 percent of total U.S. employment is at risk. For the study, a probability of automation was calculated for each occupation by evaluating the extent to which its work activities required “creativity, social intelligence and perception, and manipulation.”

Governing utilized the Oxford study definitions to calculate the share of jobs that could potentially be automated within the 50 largest metro areas. Automation probabilities for each individual occupation were compared with corresponding metro area occupational employment statistics published by the Department of Labor. Approximately 65 percent of Las Vegas area jobs were found to be susceptible to automation, the highest of any metro area. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C., and other regions with large tech industries registered the lowest shares of employment vulnerable to automation.

Larger markers represent regions with higher percentages of jobs at risk of being automated 

Mike Maciag is Data Editor for GOVERNING.
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