Robots are coming for manufacturing jobs—and Louisiana has the most to lose


Louisiana is tied with Oregon as the most vulnerable states to the “robot revolution” in manufacturing, according to a recent report by Oxford Economics.

Louisiana’s weakness is fueled by the state’s economic dependence on the lower-skilled manufacturing industry and its current lack of robot use. Researchers gave each state a “vulnerability score” using three equally weighted indicators: 1) the manufacturing share of total employment in the state; 2) future readiness of local industry; and 3) productivity in the local manufacturing workforce, compared to the national average. Higher scores indicate greater vulnerability to the future spread of manufacturing robots.

Louisiana and Oregon top the list of most vulnerable states, with a score of 0.58, followed by Texas (0.50), Indiana (0.46) and North Carolina (0.46). The least vulnerable state is Hawaii (0.17), which relies heavily on tourism. It’s followed by Washington, D.C. (0.18), Nevada (0.25), Florida (0.25) and Vermont (0.26), all of which have diversified economies.

Overall, the report predicts the U.S. could lose over 1.5 million jobs to robotics and automation by 2030. Globally, China stands to be hit the hardest, losing almost 12.5 million jobs over that same period.

According to the report, manufacturing, logistics, maritime shipping and port operations will be hit hardest over the next decade as increasingly specialized robots and driverless vehicles become more efficient than their human counterparts.

However, the rise of robots will create just as many—if not more—opportunities as it extinguishes, according to the report, delivering a $5 trillion increase in global wealth that ends up creating millions of new jobs.

Read the full Oxford Economics report.