How will automation affect jobs in your city in the future?

Sales assistants and retail cashiers are most likely to see their jobs become automated by 2030 (Photo: Shutterstock)Sales assistants and retail cashiers are most likely to see their jobs become automated by 2030 (Photo: Shutterstock)
Sales assistants and retail cashiers are most likely to see their jobs become automated by 2030 (Photo: Shutterstock)

Approximately 3.6 million jobs in Great Britain are estimated to be affected by automation in the future, according to a new study.

Overall, one in five occupations in British cities are in fields considered very likely to shrink by 2030.

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The report (produced by independent think thank Centre for Cities) suggests that the risk of jobs being affected or lost as a result of job automation is not evenly spread across the country.

Cities outside the south of England are more likely to see change.

For example, in locations such as Mansfield, Sunderland, Wakefield and Stoke, almost 30 per cent ofthe current workforce is in an industry very likely to diminish by 2030.

In Cambridge and Oxford, however, less than 15 per cent of jobs are at risk.

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The bigger the city, the bigger the damage

While London is low on the list of cities affected by job automation, its 16.1 per cent share of jobs likely to shrink translates to around 908,000 individual roles across the city.

Worthing, which has a similar share (16.0 per cent), only 8,400 jobs would be disrupted, due to the town's much smaller size.

Share of jobs in occupations likely to decline by 2030 across Great Britain

Mansfield - 29.4%Sunderland - 29.2%Wakefield - 29.2%Stoke - 28.4%Doncaster - 26.5%Blackburn - 26.3%Northampton - 25.8%Dundee - 25.3%Huddersfield - 25.3%Telford - 24.9%Leicester - 24.9%Coventry - 24.8%Wigan - 24.7%Peterborough - 24.6%Bradford - 24.2%Swindon - 23.9%Hull - 23.9%Basildon - 23.9%Burnley - 23.8%Warrington - 23.7%Sheffield - 23.5%Newport - 23.4%Newcastle - 23.3%Birmingham - 23.2%Gloucester - 23.2%Swansea - 23.2%Southend - 22.4%Middlesbrough - 22.4%Manchester - 22.4%Chatham - 21.9%Southampton - 21.9%Bournemouth - 21.9%Birkenhead - 21.8%Barnsley - 21.5%Milton Keynes - 21.5%Preston - 21.4%Liverpool - 21.3%Leeds - 21.3%Derby - 21.3%Plymouth - 21.0%Nottingham - 21.0%Norwich - 20.7%Slough - 20.7%Crawley - 20.6%Ipswich - 20.5%Glasgow - 20.5%Cardiff - 20.4%Aldershot - 20.3%Luton - 20.1%Exeter - 19.4%Aberdeen - 19.3%Bristol - 19.1%Portsmouth - 19.1%York - 18.7%Blackpool - 18.6%Brighton - 18.5%Edinburgh - 17.5%London - 16.1%Worthing - 16.0%Reading - 15.4%Cambridge - 12.9%Oxford - 12.8%

Productivity is key

Mansfield, Stoke, Doncaster and Blackburn not only feature among the top 10 cities where jobs are most at risk, but they are also among the bottom 10 least productive cities.

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In contrast, Oxford, London and Reading (the three cities with the lowest share of jobs likely to shrink) are among the most productive cities of Great Britain .

The five types of job most likely to be affected by automation

Sales assistants and retail cashiers

Other administrative occupations

Customer service occupations

Administrative occupations: finance

Elementary storage occupations

We've been here before

According to the study, in 1911 approximately 10 per cent of the workforce in cities in England and Wales was employed as a domestic servant or laundry worker.

The invention of home electrical appliances (like washing machines) meant that within 50 years, the number of people in these kinds of jobs dropped dramatically.

The number of laundry workers decreased by 34 per cent between 1911 and 1951, and the number of domestic servants fell by 67 per cent.

Crucially, despite the pressures of automation and globalisation, most British cities have seen job growth over the last century.