Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

AdChoices

employment

Automation nation: Which Canadian communities are most at risk?

Nearly half of Canada’s work activities could be automated, and the communities most susceptible tend to have smaller populations with an outsize share of manufacturing or natural resources jobs, according to a new report.

On the other hand, the Canadian areas best insulated from tech disruption include those where hospitals, postsecondary institutions and the public sector are major employers, the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship finds.

The Toronto-based think tank applied McKinsey & Company data on automation to employment figures from the 2011 census, the most recent account of local labour statistics. (Labour figures from the 2016 census will be released in November.)

Census metropolitan areas with a higher share of non-routine work activities were less likely to be disrupted, the report says.

For example, one-third of Ottawa-Gatineau employees were working in health care, education services and professional scientific and technical services – three industries that rely on human interaction and management. As a result, 44 per cent of the work activities in Ottawa-Gatineau had the potential to be automated, according to the study, making it the second-least susceptible area out of 147.

In contrast, one-quarter of Ingersoll, Ont., employees were working in manufacturing and one-fifth in retail, restaurants and accommodation – industries with highly repetitive tasks. The study found that 50 per cent of the work in Ingersoll had the potential to be automated, making it the area most at risk in the country.

Where does your city rank? Use the searchable table below to find out, or tap the column headings to order the figures.

Census metropolitan area / census agglomeration Proportion of work activities with the potential to be automated Equivalent no. of jobs* Largest industry (% of total work force) Population Median after-tax household income
Abbotsford - Mission, B.C. 47.62% 39,252 12% - Retail Trade 134,385 $57,370
Alma, Que. 47.45% 7,129 15% - Retail Trade 27,120 $46,371
Amos, Que. 45.82% 3,849 20% - Health Care and Social Assistance 13,710 $48,990
Baie-Comeau, Que. 47.64% 6,934 19% - Manufacturing 23,900 $53,355
Barrie, Ont. 47.04% 44,468 13% - Retail Trade 149,165 $62,207
Bathurst, N.B. 45.54% 6,557 18% - Health Care and Social Assistance 28,580 $44,221
Bay Roberts, Nfld. 46.50% 1,839 16% - Retail Trade 8,950 $48,561
Belleville, Ont. 46.89% 20,119 14% - Retail Trade 76,040 $51,031
Brandon, Man. 46.49% 13,295 16% - Health Care and Social Assistance 42,120 $51,654
Brantford, Ont. 48.03% 31,421 17% - Manufacturing 108,750 $53,796
Brockville, Ont. 46.93% 8,630 14% - Retail Trade 32,780 $50,863
Brooks, Alta. 49.16% 6,185 15% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 17,530 $63,680
Calgary, Alta. 46.09% 314,882 12% - Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 976,570 $71,465
Campbell River, B.C. 47.12% 7,814 16% - Retail Trade 29,825 $51,781
Campbellton, N.B. 45.19% 2,966 22% - Health Care and Social Assistance 14,770 $37,906
Camrose, Alta. 46.90% 4,121 18% - Retail Trade 14,100 $53,533
Canmore, Alta. 47.42% 3,443 17% - Accommodation and Food Services 10,140 $72,428
Cape Breton, N.S. 44.96% 17,542 18% - Health Care and Social Assistance 84,950 $42,766
Centre Wellington, Ont. 47.15% 6,602 18% - Manufacturing 21,355 $66,764
Charlottetown, PEI 44.87% 14,917 16% - Public Administration 52,505 $51,472
Chatham-Kent, Ont. 47.70% 21,800 13% - Retail Trade 84,415 $47,291
Chilliwack, B.C. 46.93% 19,573 12% - Retail Trade 73,055 $50,669
Cobourg, Ont. 47.18% 3,772 16% - Manufacturing 15,385 $51,950
Cold Lake, Alta. 45.70% 3,681 27% - Public Administration 10,625 $84,941
Collingwood, Ont. 47.68% 4,153 14% - Retail Trade 15,915 $51,333
Corner Brook, Nfld. 44.86% 5,083 22% - Health Care and Social Assistance 22,715 $47,560
Cornwall, Ont. 47.62% 11,835 14% - Health Care and Social Assistance 48,195 $43,443
Courtenay, B.C. 45.28% 11,323 16% - Retail Trade 46,330 $49,478
Cowansville, Que. 48.93% 2,848 19% - Manufacturing 10,070 $39,488
Cranbrook, B.C. 46.36% 5,675 16% - Retail Trade 20,455 $56,573
Dawson Creek, B.C. 47.25% 2,899 18% - Retail Trade 9,075 $52,997
Dolbeau-Mistassini, Que. 46.92% 3,085 17% - Retail Trade 12,845 $41,827
Drummondville, Que. 49.27% 20,729 22% - Manufacturing 71,195 $40,434
Duncan, B.C. 46.56% 8,682 14% - Retail Trade 35,335 $48,703
Edmonton, Alta. 46.02% 297,171 11% - Retail Trade 935,285 $68,226
Edmundston, N.B. 46.45% 4,585 20% - Health Care and Social Assistance 18,205 $42,766
Elliot Lake, Ont. 45.28% 1,406 20% - Health Care and Social Assistance 9,990 $39,449
Estevan, Sask. 48.34% 3,580 21% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 10,135 $73,183
Fort St. John, B.C. 47.89% 7,215 14% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 20,645 $73,997
Fredericton, N.B. 44.02% 21,826 18% - Public Administration 77,585 $53,163
Granby, Que. 49.19% 19,096 24% - Manufacturing 62,650 $43,244
Grand Falls-Windsor , Nfld. 45.16% 2,534 22% - Health Care and Social Assistance 11,360 $46,350
Grande Prairie, Alta. 47.59% 15,337 15% - Retail Trade 42,675 $76,119
Greater Sudbury / Grand Sudbury, Ont. 45.63% 35,250 14% - Health Care and Social Assistance 132,985 $55,437
Guelph, Ont. 47.05% 35,214 19% - Manufacturing 114,890 $62,687
Halifax, N.S. 44.77% 93,286 13% - Public Administration 325,050 $53,383
Hamilton, Ont. 46.12% 160,873 12% - Manufacturing 588,195 $58,324
Hawkesbury, Ont. 48.24% 2,371 20% - Retail Trade 10,010 $36,798
High River, Alta. 47.47% 3,207 12% - Health Care and Social Assistance 10,410 $61,892
Ingersoll, Ont. 50.05% 3,098 24% - Manufacturing 9,700 $58,297
Joliette, Que. 46.98% 9,973 17% - Health Care and Social Assistance 38,870 $41,457
Kamloops, B.C. 46.71% 22,690 13% - Retail Trade 81,660 $55,588
Kawartha Lakes, Ont. 46.45% 15,354 14% - Retail Trade 61,245 $53,506
Kelowna, B.C. 46.08% 40,894 13% - Retail Trade 150,320 $53,744
Kenora, Ont. 45.95% 3,550 18% - Health Care and Social Assistance 12,605 $57,613
Kentville, N.S. 46.31% 5,476 15% - Retail Trade 21,825 $44,522
Kingston, Ont. 44.12% 34,319 15% - Educational Services 129,865 $56,108
Kitchener - Cambridge - Waterloo, Ont. 47.56% 118,041 19% - Manufacturing 383,630 $60,748
Lachute, Que. 48.96% 2,580 19% - Manufacturing 10,435 $36,749
Lacombe, Alta. 45.41% 2,704 12% - Retail Trade 9,055 $64,831
Leamington, Ont. 49.59% 10,520 18% - Manufacturing 37,540 $54,680
Lethbridge, Alta. 46.41% 25,783 13% - Health Care and Social Assistance 84,000 $57,070
Lloydminster, Alta. 47.65% 8,514 17% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 23,450 $69,644
London, Ont. 46.26% 107,196 14% - Health Care and Social Assistance 388,445 $52,382
Matane, Que. 47.70% 3,797 18% - Manufacturing 15,710 $39,859
Medicine Hat, Alta. 46.71% 17,204 13% - Health Care and Social Assistance 57,620 $56,675
Midland, Ont. 48.02% 7,364 19% - Manufacturing 29,245 $48,467
Miramichi, N.B. 45.71% 5,510 17% - Health Care and Social Assistance 23,875 $47,312
Moncton, N.B. 46.06% 33,696 13% - Retail Trade 113,960 $50,807
Montréal, Que. 45.85% 869,998 12% - Retail Trade 3,120,060 $46,775
Moose Jaw, Sask. 46.98% 8,073 14% - Retail Trade 27,920 $48,089
Nanaimo, B.C. 46.17% 21,196 15% - Retail Trade 81,625 $49,781
New Glasgow, N.S. 47.32% 7,405 19% - Retail Trade 29,625 $44,944
Norfolk, Ont. 48.73% 14,130 17% - Manufacturing 51,705 $52,357
North Battleford, Sask. 45.27% 4,389 20% - Health Care and Social Assistance 14,770 $50,664
North Bay, Ont. 45.16% 13,743 17% - Health Care and Social Assistance 53,210 $52,936
Okotoks, Alta. 46.12% 6,078 13% - Retail Trade 18,325 $81,525
Orillia, Ont. 46.60% 8,404 13% - Retail Trade 33,660 $48,321
Oshawa, Ont. 45.88% 81,146 12% - Retail Trade 285,520 $66,730
Ottawa - Gatineau, Ont. 43.79% 286,608 25% - Public Administration 1,005,005 $64,864
Owen Sound, Ont. 46.55% 6,945 18% - Health Care and Social Assistance 26,530 $49,693
Parksville, B.C. 46.51% 4,370 14% - Retail Trade 24,105 $49,659
Pembroke, Ont. 44.45% 4,983 16% - Health Care and Social Assistance 19,570 $49,861
Penticton, B.C. 46.64% 8,740 15% - Health Care and Social Assistance 35,865 $42,126
Petawawa, Ont. 42.51% 3,598 54% - Public Administration 12,180 $66,350
Peterborough, Ont. 45.83% 25,267 14% - Health Care and Social Assistance 98,820 $52,646
Port Alberni, B.C. 47.96% 4,660 15% - Health Care and Social Assistance 21,145 $43,619
Port Hope, Ont. 46.62% 3,494 15% - Retail Trade 13,375 $54,298
Portage la Prairie, Man. 45.93% 2,882 19% - Health Care and Social Assistance 9,905 $46,963
Powell River, B.C. 47.50% 3,227 15% - Retail Trade 14,070 $47,097
Prince Albert, Sask. 45.08% 9,073 15% - Retail Trade 31,925 $51,225
Prince George, B.C. 47.06% 19,920 12% - Retail Trade 67,925 $57,959
Prince Rupert, B.C. 47.52% 2,792 17% - Transportation and Warehousing 10,410 $49,324
Québec, Que. 45.23% 184,716 14% - Public Administration 634,200 $49,088
Quesnel, B.C. 49.64% 4,986 21% - Manufacturing 18,160 $50,298
Red Deer, Alta. 47.16% 23,466 13% - Retail Trade 72,260 $62,790
Regina, Sask. 45.41% 53,366 12% - Health Care and Social Assistance 170,070 $61,366
Rimouski, Que. 44.24% 11,063 15% - Retail Trade 41,945 $46,038
Rivière-du-Loup, Que. 48.04% 6,558 15% - Manufacturing 22,510 $44,296
Rouyn-Noranda, Que. 46.21% 9,655 14% - Retail Trade 34,070 $47,887
Saguenay, Que. 46.44% 34,776 14% - Retail Trade 131,760 $46,673
Saint John, N.B. 45.90% 28,230 14% - Health Care and Social Assistance 104,030 $51,210
Saint-Georges, Que. 48.61% 8,638 23% - Manufacturing 28,130 $42,626
Saint-Hyacinthe, Que. 47.60% 13,320 16% - Manufacturing 46,645 $42,015
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. 47.28% 22,682 15% - Manufacturing 75,095 $48,346
Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que. 47.34% 8,660 17% - Health Care and Social Assistance 33,635 $41,258
Salmon Arm, B.C. 46.39% 3,616 13% - Health Care and Social Assistance 14,455 $45,886
Sarnia, Ont. 47.50% 18,714 13% - Health Care and Social Assistance 74,545 $53,503
Saskatoon, Sask. 45.96% 65,878 12% - Health Care and Social Assistance 209,700 $59,478
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. 46.41% 16,643 15% - Health Care and Social Assistance 67,015 $51,039
Sept-Îles, Que. 47.06% 6,525 14% - Health Care and Social Assistance 22,870 $52,527
Shawinigan, Que. 47.48% 10,517 16% - Manufacturing 46,185 $37,522
Sherbrooke, Que. 45.86% 44,453 16% - Health Care and Social Assistance 165,090 $41,571
Sorel-Tracy, Que. 48.36% 10,259 20% - Manufacturing 40,685 $41,750
Squamish, B.C. 46.94% 4,490 14% - Construction 13,760 $63,543
St. Catharines - Niagara, Ont. 47.64% 86,911 13% - Retail Trade 324,890 $51,732
St. John's , Nfld. 44.80% 45,247 15% - Health Care and Social Assistance 162,995 $57,852
Steinbach, Man. 48.36% 3,175 16% - Manufacturing 10,320 $45,158
Stratford, Ont. 48.39% 7,694 19% - Manufacturing 25,175 $50,684
Strathmore, Alta. 46.84% 3,070 14% - Retail Trade 9,530 $68,961
Summerside, PEI 47.73% 3,506 16% - Public Administration 13,335 $42,134
Swift Current, Sask. 47.16% 4,518 12% - Retail Trade 14,025 $53,747
Sylvan Lake, Alta. 46.86% 3,159 15% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 9,640 $71,636
Temiskaming Shores, Ont. 46.88% 2,672 20% - Retail Trade 11,090 $45,425
Terrace, B.C. 46.15% 3,456 15% - Retail Trade 12,325 $51,973
Thetford Mines, Que. 48.23% 5,882 19% - Manufacturing 23,265 $38,902
Thompson, Man. 47.41% 3,371 21% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 9,625 $66,453
Thunder Bay, Ont. 45.39% 26,063 16% - Health Care and Social Assistance 101,100 $53,060
Tillsonburg, Ont. 49.74% 3,305 23% - Manufacturing 12,770 $48,111
Timmins, Ont. 46.34% 9,811 15% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 35,045 $56,992
Toronto, Ont. 45.75% 1,272,196 11% - Retail Trade 4,546,145 $61,959
Trois-Rivières, Que. 46.43% 32,813 15% - Health Care and Social Assistance 126,335 $41,161
Truro, N.S. 47.77% 10,161 15% - Retail Trade 37,670 $44,534
Val-d'Or, Que. 47.14% 7,964 13% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 26,760 $48,616
Vancouver, B.C. 45.83% 541,910 11% - Retail Trade 1,926,225 $56,660
Vernon, B.C. 46.43% 11,997 16% - Retail Trade 48,295 $50,773
Victoria, B.C. 44.69% 79,755 15% - Public Administration 290,655 $54,903
Victoriaville, Que. 48.26% 10,755 19% - Manufacturing 37,255 $41,118
Wetaskiwin, Alta. 46.81% 2,612 19% - Retail Trade 9,715 $49,624
Whitehorse, Yukon 45.14% 8,651 28% - Public Administration 20,915 $72,147
Williams Lake, B.C. 48.19% 4,337 13% - Retail Trade 15,040 $53,523
Windsor, Ont. 47.62% 65,758 19% - Manufacturing 259,040 $52,242
Winnipeg, Man. 46.07% 176,123 14% - Health Care and Social Assistance 590,290 $52,212
Wood Buffalo, Alta. 48.59% 20,778 30% - Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 54,230 $137,991
Woodstock, Ont. 49.50% 8,982 25% - Manufacturing 30,470 $51,226
Yellowknife, NWT 45.04% 6,851 25% - Public Administration 15,030 $104,701
Yorkton, Sask. 46.75% 4,296 18% - Retail Trade 14,705 $49,181

Source: BII + E

*The equivalent number of jobs with the potential for automation is calculated by multiplying the proportion of work activities with the potential for automation by the number of employees in that CMA or CA. It does not indicate this many jobs will be lost.

Report Typo/Error

Next story

loading