Automation nation: Which Canadian communities are most at risk?
Nearly half of Canada's work activities could be automated, and the communities most susceptible tend to have smaller populations with an outsize share of manufacturing or natural resources jobs, according to a new report.
On the other hand, the Canadian areas best insulated from tech disruption include those where hospitals, postsecondary institutions and the public sector are major employers, the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship finds.
The Toronto-based think tank applied McKinsey & Company data on automation to employment figures from the 2011 census, the most recent account of local labour statistics. (Labour figures from the 2016 census will be released in November.)
Census metropolitan areas with a higher share of non-routine work activities were less likely to be disrupted, the report says.
For example, one-third of Ottawa-Gatineau employees were working in health care, education services and professional scientific and technical services – three industries that rely on human interaction and management. As a result, 44 per cent of the work activities in Ottawa-Gatineau had the potential to be automated, according to the study, making it the second-least susceptible area out of 147.
In contrast, one-quarter of Ingersoll, Ont., employees were working in manufacturing and one-fifth in retail, restaurants and accommodation – industries with highly repetitive tasks. The study found that 50 per cent of the work in Ingersoll had the potential to be automated, making it the area most at risk in the country.
Where does your city rank? Use the searchable table below to find out, or tap the column headings to order the figures.