Center for an Urban Future Report:  1.2 Million Jobs in New York State Will Be Transformed Using Technology in the Next Decade!

Dear Commons Community,

The Center for an Urban Future (CUF) has just issued a new report predicting that machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence are poised to bring about massive changes to a large swath of the economy in the years ahead.  In New York State more than 1.2 million could be affected.  This report provides a comprehensive look at the automation potential of many occupations statewide and in each of New York’s ten regions.

As stated in the report:

“… sweeping not just through factory floors but office towers, hospital wards, and main streets, automation has the potential to displace workers in a growing range of occupations, as varied as bookkeepers and x-ray technicians, paralegals and food prep workers. The result is that both traditional and emerging industries will be transformed, with significant effects on New York’s workforce.

…Our study finds that New York State is less susceptible to automation than the nation as a whole. But it also reveals that more than 1.2 million jobs in the state, about 12 percent of the state’s workforce, could be largely automated using technology that exists today. (These are jobs in which 80 percent or more of their associated tasks could be done by machines.)

To be clear, automation is not expected to eliminate all, or even most, of these jobs… As with other major economic transformations—such as the Industrial Revolution, the dawn of electricity, and the Internet age—some jobs will disappear, many will be created, and in the end, most will simply change.

There is immense potential for jobs across New York to be transformed. Statewide, the equivalent of 41.2 percent of all job tasks could be performed by machines in the coming decade. On this score, New York is actually better off than the nation, where 51 percent of all job tasks could be done by machines, according to an analysis by the McKinsey Global Institute on which this report is based. (This is not to suggest that 41 percent of jobs in the state will be eliminated; that is simply the scope of job responsibilities that could change as more of today’s work—whether taking orders, entering data, or even driving—is done by machines.)

The potential for automation is spread fairly evenly across the state. Of all regions, the automation potential is highest in Western New York, where 44.5 percent of all job tasks could be done using existing technology. Other regions with high automation potential include Central New York (44.4 percent), the North Country (44.3 percent), the Mohawk Valley (43.8 percent), and Long Island (43.7). New York City has the lowest potential for automation, as detailed by the Center in a January report; just 39 percent of jobs in the five boroughs stand a high likelihood of being automated. But other regions also have a comparatively lower potential for automation, such as the Capital Region (42 percent) and the Hudson Valley (42.2 percent).”

The entire report is a sobering read.  In the post 2030 period, many jobs will have been transformed and some eliminated due to automation.


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