Robots Are Taking Our Jobs — and These 10 States May Be Hit the Hardest

Shoppers stream through the Forum Shops in this time exposure photo at Caesars in Las Vegas, NV. AP Photo/Jeff Scheid

Bleep, bloop, blop.

Don’t mind me, just practicing my robotese for the inevitable robot revolution.

Indeed, the coming automation of jobs across the U.S. raises plenty of questions: Should the government provide a universal basic income to offset job losses? Which parts of the country will be hit the worst by automation? Will these new robot overlords be benevolent?

Thanks to a 2013 Oxford University study and 2016 employment numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we can answer at least one of those questions.

10 States That Are Most — and Least — Vulnerable to Job Automation

The Penny Hoarder used the probability of automation from the Oxford study and applied that to each occupation state-by-state — then weighted the final number based on population and the labor force — to determine the top 10 states most vulnerable to automation. We also looked at the most vulnerable job sectors for the top three states.

Job Automation Vulnerability
Kristy Gaunt – The Penny Hoarder

1. Nevada

If automation were to happen right now at the snap of a finger, Nevada would lose about 757,000 jobs.


The biggest losses come from the retail sector, which would be predicted to shed about 45,000 positions, while servers and cashiers come in second and third on the list.

The study also predicts 20,640 job losses for dealers. Are robot blackjack dealers on the way?

2. South Dakota

Although it has one of the smaller populations in the U.S., the home of Mount Rushmore is predicted to get hit with 373,800 job losses due to automation.

Retail salespeople are the most vulnerable here again, with 14,200 job losses expected. And cashiers remain at the top of the analysis.

Bookkeepers and accountants were in the third slot of most jobs lost to automation, with roughly 9,400 expected.

In total, South Dakota is slated for 248,000 job losses.

3. Alabama

If you work at a grocery store in Alabama, you should probably be worried about the robot revolution. According to the analysis, 70,431 cashiers would lose their jobs if automation happened overnight.

But, once again, retail salespeople will suffer greatly due to automation, with 54,914 job losses expected, with fast food workers coming in third.

In total, Alabama would lose 1.1 million jobs to automation.

Here’s the rest of the list of the most vulnerable states when it comes to robotization, and the predicted job losses.

  1. Indiana: 1.7 million
  1. Kentucky: 1 million
  1. Florida: 4.7 million
  1. Mississippi: 634,000
  1. Louisiana: 1.1 million
  1. South Carolina: 1.1 million
  1. Montana: 253,000

But what about the other side of the coin?

Here are the least vulnerable states for job losses due to automation.

  1. District of Columbia: 267,000
  1. Massachusetts: 1.7 million
  1. Maryland: 1.3 million
  1. Connecticut: 838,000
  1. New York: 4.7 million
  1. Virginia: 1.9 million
  1. Washington: 1.3 million
  1. New Jersey: 1.6 million
  1. Minnesota: 1.4 million
  1. California: 8.4 million

Of course, there are severe limitations in the Oxford study, and as mentioned before, the probability of automation is just the probability — and assumes it’ll happen overnight. It won’t.

Still, it’s always good to have a backup plan. Here are seven jobs you’ll probably never lose to a robot.

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. He, for one, welcomes our new robot overlords.