Responding to Automation: How adaptable is Canada’s labour market?

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Responding to Automation: How adaptable is Canada’s labour market?

Human Resources

Author: Darren Gresch


  • Nearly one in five Canadian employees are in occupations at high risk of automation with few or no options to transition into lower-risk occupations without significant retraining.
  • The top five industries in which these occupations are most concentrated are accommodation and food services, manufacturing, retail trade, construction, and health care and social assistance.
  • Most tools and resources for developing SES are designed for K–12 learners. But helping adults develop and assess these skills is an important priority when it comes to responding to Canada’s skills gaps and the future of work.
  • Based on total number of people employed, the top five occupations of this type in Canada are food counter attendants, kitchen helpers, and related; cashiers; administrative assistants; general office support workers; and cooks.
  • Indigenous people, women, young people, and racialized minorities are disproportionately represented in most of the top occupations.
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Rapid technological change makes it more critical than ever that Canadian leaders understand how the adoption of new technologies impacts Canada’s labour markets. This briefing looks at which occupations have a higher risk of significant transformation and offer few options for workers to transition into lower-risk occupations.

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