Covid-19 and Implications for Automation
30 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2020 Last revised: 16 Dec 2021
Date Written: July 2020
COVID-19 may accelerate the automation of jobs, as employers invest in technology to adapt the production process to safeguard against current and potential future pandemics. We identify occupations that have high automation potential and also exhibit a high degree of risk of viral infection. We then examine regional variation in terms of which U.S. local labor markets are most at risk. Next, we outline the differential impact that COVID-19 may have on automatable jobs for different demographic groups. We find that occupations held by U.S. females with mid to low levels of wages and education are at highest risk. Using comparable data for 25 other countries, we find women in this demographic are also at highest risk internationally.
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