While no labor market will be spared the effects of automation in the coming decades, manufacturing and agricultural industries are considerably more vulnerable than others. In turn, local economies with long histories and ongoing specialization in these industries will be most vulnerable to changes brought on by automation.
Production, transportation, and construction-installation occupations are more heavily concentrated in areas that have above average projected automation exposure. In 44 of the 50 metro areas on this list, the percentage of workers employed in the manufacturing sector, for example, exceeds the national average share of 10.1%.
Based on the potential of being automated, relatively safe jobs include health care, personal services, and education occupations. No metro area on this list consists of above-average shares of professional, scientific, and management sector jobs.
To identify the metro job markets at the greatest risk of automation, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data published this January in the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. The percentage of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree, the percentage of civilians employed in manufacturing jobs, and the population of each metropolitan area came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey.
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