Automation threatens more than 700,000 jobs in North Carolina spread across 39 job categories, according to a recent NCSU study. Additional analysis shows that another 1 million jobs are threatened by off-shoring. To help document the threats posed, the Institute for Emerging Issues releases a new suite of tools called the “Future Work Disruption Index.”

Some 3.5 million people currently have non-farm jobs in the state, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

For example, Wake County could lose 33 percent of jobs and 21 percent of the wages in those categories.

The NCSU data is supported by a new global study. A report from Oxford University and Citi, meanwhile, points out that nearly 40 percent of jobs in the Raleigh area could be lost due to robots and automation. And Raleigh is among the least exposed while the Greensboro market is among the most at risk.

The Index notes two significant threats to the future of North Carolina jobs:

  • “A technological revolution will eliminate or seriously reshape more than a million current jobs”
  • “Our demography is shifting rapidly as we age, grow more diverse, and our workforce welcomes more women.”

The Disruption Index, based on data compiled by NCSU economist Dr. Michael Walden, was released one week ahead of the annual Emerging Issues forum next week which is focused on “Future Work.”

One of the most at-risk counties is Johnston.

However, the Triangle ranks better than most:

  • Leas vulnerable counties include Orange and Durham counties.
  • The least vulnerable regions include the Triangle and Charlotte.

Citing research from North Carolina State, the Disruption Index summary notes that ” at least 70%” of 39 job types are “likely to be eliminated within one generation as a result of automation.”

The Index notes that more than 1 million state residents work in this fields. More than one million North Carolinians currently work in these jobs.

Posing an additional threat is “tech-enabled off-shoring,” which would hit another 1 million jobs, according to the Disruption Index summary. However, the full extent of the problem is still being studied and data about that subject area is not included in the index.

The jobs most at risk and areas where largest job losses could occur include:

  • “Lower-wage jobs are particularly at risk, but automation is reaching up the ladder to threaten many job categories,” the index says.
  • Top five vulnerable roles by total current employment:
  1. Food Prep and Servers including Fast Food
  2. Retail Salespersons
  3. Cashiers
  4. Waiters
  5. General Office Clerks
  • Counties on average face the potential loss of more than 25% of their current jobs
  • Nearly 20% of current wages as a result of automation and related technologies would be lost
  • Counties most at risk and percentage of jobs potentially lost due to automation:
  1. Watauga (41%)
  2. Carteret (40%)
  3. Dare (40%)
  4. Johnston (40%)
  5. Buncombe (39%)
  6. Catawba (39%)

Read more about the Index at:

FutureWork Disruption Index