Centre for Cities recently released an 80-page report entitled: Cities Outlook 2018, which took an in-depth look at the future of work in the 63 largest cities in the UK, with a focus on the potential impact that automation could have on each city.
Artificial intelligence, automation and other technological changes are among the biggest economic issues of our age. By looking at the types of jobs currently available in cities and at those occupations predicted to grow, as forecast in a recent report by Nesta entitled: The future of skills: employment in 2030, Cities Outlook 2018 aims to identify which UK cities are most at risk of losing jobs to automation, and which cities are less vulnerable to these changes.
Very broadly, the report found that it is those cities with relatively weak economies in the North that are vulnerable to job losses, with cities in the South at relatively less risk. Significantly, it also found that the cities that are most at risk to job losses are the same ones that voted to leave the EU.
Yet, despite scare stories and the likelihood of job losses, the report also finds that all cities are likely to see an increase in jobs across both the public and private sectors – thus replacing any jobs lost to new technology. Similarly, it finds that such changes are not new and cities have been exposed to automation and globalisation for over a century and almost all of them have seen jobs growth since 1911. Below is a summary of some key parts of the report.
Divided on politics and productivity
Cities outside the Greater South East are more at risk of losing jobs to automation and globalisation than those within it. The report gives two examples of cities at opposite ends of the productivity spectrum – Mansfield vs Reading.