Clickability tracking pixel

Report Shows Colorado Workers Should Survive Automation Wave

A new study from the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings finds that Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs fared better than other parts of the country anticipating AI to displace their human workforce.

by Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post / January 25, 2019

(TNS) — Colorado, and more specifically Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs, should fare better than most other parts of the country in preserving jobs as a wave of automation sweeps over the country in coming years, according to a new report from the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings.

“Denver and Colorado cities and the state look very good and resilient on this measure in keeping with your high education levels,” said Mark Muro, one of the report’s authors, in an email.

Some futurists paint a stark picture where robots and artificial intelligence take over most tasks, even complex ones, leaving the bulk of workers idle and dependent on government support. Only a small technological elite and the investors behind them will prosper.

Brookings doesn’t buy into that bleak vision, but it does warn disruption is coming. The think tank estimates that over the next two decades, a quarter of existing U.S. jobs will be highly vulnerable to automation, while 36 percent will have a medium amount of exposure and 39 percent will remain resistant.

Risks, however, will vary by location, based on how educated the population is. Among states, Colorado faces the eighth lowest risk from automation, with 40.8 percent of jobs at low risk, 36.4 at medium risk and 22.8 percent at high risk.

New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, Virginia, New Jersey and New Mexico are the states with lower exposure than Colorado, according to Brookings.

Across Colorado metros, Boulder should fare the best in withstanding automation, followed by Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Pueblo and Grand Junction. Greeley was an exception. It was among the most vulnerable nationally, with 30.9 percent of jobs at high risk from automation. In Boulder, only 20.8 percent of jobs are at high risk, while in Denver it’s only 22.3 percent, according to Brookings.

Denver ranked as the 13th least disrupted metro from automation among the 100 largest metros, according to Brookings. Colorado Springs wasn’t far behind at 15th.

About 4 percent of U.S. jobs will face displacement of 90 percent or greater because of automation, while only half of 1 percent will face total displacement, Brookings predicts. While small percentage wise, that represents about 740,000 jobs.

A college diploma to a large degree will separate those who can find employment from those who can’t, Muro said. Workers holding jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree are 2.3 times more susceptible to automation, while only 6 percent of jobs that require a college degree are at a high-risk of displacement from automation.

Among the large metros most vulnerable to job losses from automation are Toledo, Ohio; Greensboro, N.C.; Lakeland, Fla.; Stockton, Calif., and Las Vegas. Washington, D.C.; San Jose, Calif.; New York City; Durham, N.C., and Boston are the cities most immune, according to Brookings.

©2019 The Denver Post. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Looking for the latest gov tech news as it happens? Subscribe to GT newsletters.

E.REPUBLIC Platforms & Programs