The Talented Mr. Robot: The impact of automation on Canada’s workforce

For this report we used methodologies both from Oxford professors Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne and from management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, which have been employed in other jurisdictions, and applied them both to Canadian data for the first time.

Read this report to help you:

  • Understand the effects that automation can have on the Canadian labour force,
  • Identify Canadian occupations that are at a high risk of being affected by automation,
  • Identify income, education and demographic characteristics of Canadian occupations based on their risk of being affected by automation, and
  • Identify how automation is expected to impact the specific tasks that the Canadian labour force performs.

Overall we found that nearly 42 percent of the Canadian labour force is at a high risk of being affected by automation in the next decade or two. We also discovered that major job restructuring will likely occur as a result of new technology. Using a different methodology, we found that 42 percent of the tasks that Canadians are currently paid to do can be automated using existing technology.

But the data does not paint an entirely negative picture. Using the Canadian Occupation Projection System (COPS), we found that the occupations with the lowest risk of being affected by automation, which are correlated with higher earnings and education, are projected to produce nearly 712,000 net new jobs between 2014 and 2024.

To identify the probability of automation for individual occupations in Canada, please use, manipulate and download our data below.

As with any type of forecasting exercise, there is always going to be uncertainties associated with the predictions. However, we do hope that this study provides a tool to help guide future decision making.

To find out our take on the topic, read The Rise of Robots: Why the Future of Jobs in Canada Isn’t all Doom + Gloom.

For media enquiries, please contact Coralie D’Souza, Director of Communications, Events + Community Relations at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship.

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