Bad news for workers in the American South and Great Plains: A robot could likely come for your job.
A newly released study by fintech company Smart Asset found that those regions are the ones most likely to experience serious job losses due to automation. And, even more disheartening, they’re the ones that appear least prepared to take the hit.
Smart Asset based its finding on a combination of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Oxford University research studies. The company first figured out how many people in each state work in certain occupations. Then, it estimated the probability that an automated system could replace those occupations.
The results: It determined that the 10 states where workers are most vulnerable to robo-replacement are Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Texas, and Alabama.
Kicked While Down
The jobs that employ a lot of people and that are at a high risk of automation, according to the report: retail salespeople, cashiers, fast food cooks and servers. Those all happen to be traditionally low-skill jobs, meaning those workers might have a particularly tough time finding a new job if a robot steals theirs.
As a double-whammy, the states identified in the Smart Asset study also happen to already have some of the worst economies in the nation. If automation really does hit those states the hardest, the unemployment rates could skyrocket, making an already bad situation worse.