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A robot may be doing your job in 10 to 20 years!

Report looks at the future of automation and what it means for Canadian jobs.


TORONTO — Automation will be transforming traditional occupations in more areas than manufacturing, and 42% of the labour force is likely to be affected in the next 10 to 20 years, according to a study by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) at Ryerson University.

The report cites the recent rise of artificial intelligence for automation infiltrating cognitive, non-routine tasks and occupations.

A significant percentage of Canadian jobs are at a high risk of being replaced by automation, said Sean Mullin, executive director of BII+E. “However, we don’t believe that all of these jobs will be lost. Many will be restructured and new jobs will be created as the nature of occupations change due to the impact of technology and computerization.”

Low risk jobs are linked to high skill levels and higher earnings, such as management and jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), which are expected to create many new jobs for Canadians in the coming years.

Most high-risk occupations are in office support and general administration, sales and services, transportation and distribution, lower skilled technical occupations in health, natural and applied sciences, as well as labourers and assemblers in manufacturing and construction.

Less than 1% of jobs are fully automatable, but those are mostly in manufacturing, machine operation and related production work.

Canada’s employed labour force is comprised of a large number of occupations that require highly skilled workers who command high wages and are at a low risk of being negatively affected by automation. The report says these occupations are expected to grow much more quickly than the rest of the labour force.

Approximately 36% of the labour force is at a low risk of automation and those with the lowest risk are projected to produce nearly 712,000 new jobs between 2014 and 2024.

Ontario has the lowest proportion of high-risk jobs, and PEI the highest at more than 45% over the next 10 to 20 years.

The report includes a detailed appendix that lists occupations, how much of their jobs are automatable, average wages, number of jobs and risk factor. Good news for manufacturing managers: only a 3% probability of automation in the next 10 to 20 years; and ditto for industrial engineers, manufacturing technologists and technicians.

Click here for a copy of The Talented Mr. Robot: The Impact of Automation on Canada’s Workforce.

1 Comment » for A robot may be doing your job in 10 to 20 years!
  1. LanceH says:

    I think we need to adjust our immigration policies accordingly no? Something that never comes up when discussing immigration, but should in fact be front and centre!

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