The Economic Impact of Automation on Northern Ontario’s Economy
December 19, 2019
Automation can have both positive and negative effects on economies. Some say that automation can lead to rising productivity, income, and standard of living. On the other hand, concerns include the fact that new technologies could accelerate the pace of change and bring unprecedented occupational disruption and unemployment.
This report examines the impact of automation on industries, jobs, income, income distribution, and communities in Northern Ontario. While examining employment trends in Canada, Ontario, and Northern Ontario during the past 25 years, the study finds that the automation process has not been unique to Northern Ontario. The paper also examines job polarization in industries that have traditionally been the engines of economic growth in Northern Ontario, namely logging and forestry, mining, forest-based manufacturing, health care and social services, and education services industries. To assess occupations which are most and least susceptible to automation, occupations are categorized as follows: non-routine cognitive and analytical, routine cognitive or routine manual, and non-routine manual jobs.