Automation could hit more than two in five Rugby jobs

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More than two in every five jobs in Rugby could be lost to automation in the future, new Office for National Statistics (ONS) data has revealed.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has said that technology will replace some occupations but, also, will bring new and more technical jobs.

New ONS data shows that 40,000 jobs in Rugby, measured in 2017, could be partially or totally replaced by machines over the coming years.

That’s 44 per cent of the occupations in the area.

Of those, 65 per cent were at medium risk, which means the probability of them being replaced by machines is between 30 per cent and 70 per cent.

The threat was low for a further 32 per cent of jobs.

That means Rugby was less vulnerable to the impact of automation in 2017 than six years earlier, when 47 per cent of jobs were at risk of being replaced by machines.

An ONS spokesperson said: “The exact reasons for the decrease in the proportion of roles at risk of automation are unclear, but it is possible that automation of some jobs has already happened.

“For instance, self-checkouts at supermarkets are now a common sight, reducing the need to have as many employees working at checkouts.

“Additionally, while the overall number of jobs has increased, the majority of these are in occupations that are at low or medium risk, suggesting that the labour market may be changing to jobs that require more complex and less routine skills.”

Felicity Burch, the CBI’s director of innovation and digital, said technology is predominantly putting jobs held by women, and low-skilled occupations, at risk.

She said: “The picture is complicated; some of the roles most at risk of automation saw a boost in recent years.

“Furthermore, we know that the more businesses invest in new technology, the more likely they are to create new roles.”