The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said in a new report that more than 10 million jobs in the UK – a third of the total – are thought to be at risk from automation within the next two decades.
There was also evidence to suggest that the impact of automation would be geographically concentrated and so widen the north-south divide. Whereas 39% of jobs have a high potential for automation in London, 47% are at high risk in Yorkshire and the Humber and the West Midlands, and 48% are at high risk in the north-east and Northern Ireland.
The IPPR research said that in four sectors alone – retail, hospitality, transport and manufacturing – 5 million jobs were at risk.
“In wholesale and retail for example, there are over two and a half million jobs with a high potential to be automated, and three in four workers do not have a degree-level qualification and may lack adaptability,” the report said.