Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Automation nation: Which Canadian communities are most at risk?

employment

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.)

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Census metropolitan area / census agglomerationProportion of work activities with the potential to be automatedEquivalent no. of jobs*Largest industry (% of total work force)Population Median after-tax household income
Abbotsford - Mission, B.C.47.62%39,25212% - Retail Trade134,385 $57,370
Alma, Que.47.45%7,12915% - Retail Trade27,120 $46,371
Amos, Que.45.82%3,84920% - Health Care and Social Assistance13,710 $48,990
Baie-Comeau, Que.47.64%6,93419% - Manufacturing23,900 $53,355
Barrie, Ont.47.04%44,46813% - Retail Trade149,165 $62,207
Bathurst, N.B.45.54%6,55718% - Health Care and Social Assistance28,580 $44,221
Bay Roberts, Nfld.46.50%1,83916% - Retail Trade8,950 $48,561
Belleville, Ont.46.89%20,11914% - Retail Trade76,040 $51,031
Brandon, Man.46.49%13,29516% - Health Care and Social Assistance42,120 $51,654
Brantford, Ont.48.03%31,42117% - Manufacturing108,750 $53,796
Brockville, Ont.46.93%8,63014% - Retail Trade32,780 $50,863
Brooks, Alta.49.16%6,18515% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction17,530 $63,680
Calgary, Alta.46.09%314,88212% - Professional, Scientific and Technical Services976,570 $71,465
Campbell River, B.C.47.12%7,81416% - Retail Trade29,825 $51,781
Campbellton, N.B.45.19%2,96622% - Health Care and Social Assistance14,770 $37,906
Camrose, Alta.46.90%4,12118% - Retail Trade14,100 $53,533
Canmore, Alta.47.42%3,44317% - Accommodation and Food Services10,140 $72,428
Cape Breton, N.S.44.96%17,54218% - Health Care and Social Assistance84,950 $42,766
Centre Wellington, Ont.47.15%6,60218% - Manufacturing21,355 $66,764
Charlottetown, PEI44.87%14,91716% - Public Administration52,505 $51,472
Chatham-Kent, Ont.47.70%21,80013% - Retail Trade84,415 $47,291
Chilliwack, B.C.46.93%19,57312% - Retail Trade73,055 $50,669
Cobourg, Ont.47.18%3,77216% - Manufacturing15,385 $51,950
Cold Lake, Alta.45.70%3,68127% - Public Administration10,625 $84,941
Collingwood, Ont.47.68%4,15314% - Retail Trade15,915 $51,333
Corner Brook, Nfld.44.86%5,08322% - Health Care and Social Assistance22,715 $47,560
Cornwall, Ont.47.62%11,83514% - Health Care and Social Assistance48,195 $43,443
Courtenay, B.C.45.28%11,32316% - Retail Trade46,330 $49,478
Cowansville, Que.48.93%2,84819% - Manufacturing10,070 $39,488
Cranbrook, B.C.46.36%5,67516% - Retail Trade20,455 $56,573
Dawson Creek, B.C.47.25%2,89918% - Retail Trade9,075 $52,997
Dolbeau-Mistassini, Que.46.92%3,08517% - Retail Trade12,845 $41,827
Drummondville, Que.49.27%20,72922% - Manufacturing71,195 $40,434
Duncan, B.C.46.56%8,68214% - Retail Trade35,335 $48,703
Edmonton, Alta.46.02%297,17111% - Retail Trade935,285 $68,226
Edmundston, N.B.46.45%4,58520% - Health Care and Social Assistance18,205 $42,766
Elliot Lake, Ont.45.28%1,40620% - Health Care and Social Assistance9,990 $39,449
Estevan, Sask.48.34%3,58021% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction10,135 $73,183
Fort St. John, B.C.47.89%7,21514% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction20,645 $73,997
Fredericton, N.B.44.02%21,82618% - Public Administration77,585 $53,163
Granby, Que.49.19%19,09624% - Manufacturing62,650 $43,244
Grand Falls-Windsor , Nfld.45.16%2,53422% - Health Care and Social Assistance11,360 $46,350
Grande Prairie, Alta.47.59%15,33715% - Retail Trade42,675 $76,119
Greater Sudbury / Grand Sudbury, Ont.45.63%35,25014% - Health Care and Social Assistance132,985 $55,437
Guelph, Ont.47.05%35,21419% - Manufacturing114,890 $62,687
Halifax, N.S. 44.77%93,28613% - Public Administration325,050 $53,383
Hamilton, Ont.46.12%160,87312% - Manufacturing588,195 $58,324
Hawkesbury, Ont.48.24%2,37120% - Retail Trade10,010 $36,798
High River, Alta.47.47%3,20712% - Health Care and Social Assistance10,410 $61,892
Ingersoll, Ont.50.05%3,09824% - Manufacturing9,700 $58,297
Joliette, Que.46.98%9,97317% - Health Care and Social Assistance38,870 $41,457
Kamloops, B.C.46.71%22,69013% - Retail Trade81,660 $55,588
Kawartha Lakes, Ont.46.45%15,35414% - Retail Trade61,245 $53,506
Kelowna, B.C.46.08%40,89413% - Retail Trade150,320 $53,744
Kenora, Ont.45.95%3,55018% - Health Care and Social Assistance12,605 $57,613
Kentville, N.S.46.31%5,47615% - Retail Trade21,825 $44,522
Kingston, Ont.44.12%34,31915% - Educational Services129,865 $56,108
Kitchener - Cambridge - Waterloo, Ont.47.56%118,04119% - Manufacturing383,630 $60,748
Lachute, Que.48.96%2,58019% - Manufacturing10,435 $36,749
Lacombe, Alta.45.41%2,70412% - Retail Trade9,055 $64,831
Leamington, Ont.49.59%10,52018% - Manufacturing37,540 $54,680
Lethbridge, Alta.46.41%25,78313% - Health Care and Social Assistance84,000 $57,070
Lloydminster, Alta.47.65%8,51417% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction23,450 $69,644
London, Ont.46.26%107,19614% - Health Care and Social Assistance388,445 $52,382
Matane, Que.47.70%3,79718% - Manufacturing15,710 $39,859
Medicine Hat, Alta.46.71%17,20413% - Health Care and Social Assistance57,620 $56,675
Midland, Ont.48.02%7,36419% - Manufacturing29,245 $48,467
Miramichi, N.B.45.71%5,51017% - Health Care and Social Assistance23,875 $47,312
Moncton, N.B.46.06%33,69613% - Retail Trade113,960 $50,807
Montréal, Que.45.85%869,99812% - Retail Trade3,120,060 $46,775
Moose Jaw, Sask.46.98%8,07314% - Retail Trade27,920 $48,089
Nanaimo, B.C.46.17%21,19615% - Retail Trade81,625 $49,781
New Glasgow, N.S.47.32%7,40519% - Retail Trade29,625 $44,944
Norfolk, Ont.48.73%14,13017% - Manufacturing51,705 $52,357
North Battleford, Sask.45.27%4,38920% - Health Care and Social Assistance14,770 $50,664
North Bay, Ont.45.16%13,74317% - Health Care and Social Assistance53,210 $52,936
Okotoks, Alta.46.12%6,07813% - Retail Trade18,325 $81,525
Orillia, Ont.46.60%8,40413% - Retail Trade33,660 $48,321
Oshawa, Ont.45.88%81,14612% - Retail Trade285,520 $66,730
Ottawa - Gatineau, Ont.43.79%286,60825% - Public Administration1,005,005 $64,864
Owen Sound, Ont.46.55%6,94518% - Health Care and Social Assistance26,530 $49,693
Parksville, B.C.46.51%4,37014% - Retail Trade24,105 $49,659
Pembroke, Ont.44.45%4,98316% - Health Care and Social Assistance19,570 $49,861
Penticton, B.C.46.64%8,74015% - Health Care and Social Assistance35,865 $42,126
Petawawa, Ont.42.51%3,59854% - Public Administration12,180 $66,350
Peterborough, Ont.45.83%25,26714% - Health Care and Social Assistance98,820 $52,646
Port Alberni, B.C.47.96%4,66015% - Health Care and Social Assistance21,145 $43,619
Port Hope, Ont.46.62%3,49415% - Retail Trade13,375 $54,298
Portage la Prairie, Man.45.93%2,88219% - Health Care and Social Assistance9,905 $46,963
Powell River, B.C.47.50%3,22715% - Retail Trade14,070 $47,097
Prince Albert, Sask.45.08%9,07315% - Retail Trade31,925 $51,225
Prince George, B.C.47.06%19,92012% - Retail Trade67,925 $57,959
Prince Rupert, B.C.47.52%2,79217% - Transportation and Warehousing10,410 $49,324
Québec, Que.45.23%184,71614% - Public Administration634,200 $49,088
Quesnel, B.C.49.64%4,98621% - Manufacturing18,160 $50,298
Red Deer, Alta.47.16%23,46613% - Retail Trade72,260 $62,790
Regina, Sask.45.41%53,36612% - Health Care and Social Assistance170,070 $61,366
Rimouski, Que.44.24%11,06315% - Retail Trade41,945 $46,038
Rivière-du-Loup, Que.48.04%6,55815% - Manufacturing22,510 $44,296
Rouyn-Noranda, Que.46.21%9,65514% - Retail Trade34,070 $47,887
Saguenay, Que.46.44%34,77614% - Retail Trade131,760 $46,673
Saint John, N.B.45.90%28,23014% - Health Care and Social Assistance104,030 $51,210
Saint-Georges, Que.48.61%8,63823% - Manufacturing28,130 $42,626
Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.47.60%13,32016% - Manufacturing46,645 $42,015
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.47.28%22,68215% - Manufacturing75,095 $48,346
Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que.47.34%8,66017% - Health Care and Social Assistance33,635 $41,258
Salmon Arm, B.C.46.39%3,61613% - Health Care and Social Assistance14,455 $45,886
Sarnia, Ont.47.50%18,71413% - Health Care and Social Assistance74,545 $53,503
Saskatoon, Sask.45.96%65,87812% - Health Care and Social Assistance209,700 $59,478
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.46.41%16,64315% - Health Care and Social Assistance67,015 $51,039
Sept-Îles, Que.47.06%6,52514% - Health Care and Social Assistance22,870 $52,527
Shawinigan, Que.47.48%10,51716% - Manufacturing46,185 $37,522
Sherbrooke, Que.45.86%44,45316% - Health Care and Social Assistance165,090 $41,571
Sorel-Tracy, Que.48.36%10,25920% - Manufacturing40,685 $41,750
Squamish, B.C.46.94%4,49014% - Construction13,760 $63,543
St. Catharines - Niagara, Ont.47.64%86,91113% - Retail Trade324,890 $51,732
St. John's , Nfld.44.80%45,24715% - Health Care and Social Assistance162,995 $57,852
Steinbach, Man.48.36%3,17516% - Manufacturing10,320 $45,158
Stratford, Ont.48.39%7,69419% - Manufacturing25,175 $50,684
Strathmore, Alta.46.84%3,07014% - Retail Trade9,530 $68,961
Summerside, PEI47.73%3,50616% - Public Administration13,335 $42,134
Swift Current, Sask.47.16%4,51812% - Retail Trade14,025 $53,747
Sylvan Lake, Alta.46.86%3,15915% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction9,640 $71,636
Temiskaming Shores, Ont.46.88%2,67220% - Retail Trade11,090 $45,425
Terrace, B.C.46.15%3,45615% - Retail Trade12,325 $51,973
Thetford Mines, Que.48.23%5,88219% - Manufacturing23,265 $38,902
Thompson, Man.47.41%3,37121% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction9,625 $66,453
Thunder Bay, Ont.45.39%26,06316% - Health Care and Social Assistance101,100 $53,060
Tillsonburg, Ont.49.74%3,30523% - Manufacturing12,770 $48,111
Timmins, Ont.46.34%9,81115% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction35,045 $56,992
Toronto, Ont.45.75%1,272,19611% - Retail Trade4,546,145 $61,959
Trois-Rivières, Que.46.43%32,81315% - Health Care and Social Assistance126,335 $41,161
Truro, N.S.47.77%10,16115% - Retail Trade37,670 $44,534
Val-d'Or, Que.47.14%7,96413% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction26,760 $48,616
Vancouver, B.C.45.83%541,91011% - Retail Trade1,926,225 $56,660
Vernon, B.C.46.43%11,99716% - Retail Trade48,295 $50,773
Victoria, B.C.44.69%79,75515% - Public Administration290,655 $54,903
Victoriaville, Que.48.26%10,75519% - Manufacturing37,255 $41,118
Wetaskiwin, Alta.46.81%2,61219% - Retail Trade9,715 $49,624
Whitehorse, Yukon45.14%8,65128% - Public Administration20,915 $72,147
Williams Lake, B.C.48.19%4,33713% - Retail Trade15,040 $53,523
Windsor, Ont.47.62%65,75819% - Manufacturing259,040 $52,242
Winnipeg, Man.46.07%176,12314% - Health Care and Social Assistance590,290 $52,212
Wood Buffalo, Alta.48.59%20,77830% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction54,230 $137,991
Woodstock, Ont.49.50%8,98225% - Manufacturing30,470 $51,226
Yellowknife, NWT45.04%6,85125% - Public Administration15,030 $104,701
Yorkton, Sask.46.75%4,29618% - Retail Trade14,705 $49,181

Source: BII + E

*The equivalent number of jobs with the potential for automation is calculated by multiplying the proportion of work activities with the potential for automation by the number of employees in that CMA or CA. It does not indicate this many jobs will be lost.

Report an error Licensing Options
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨