Computers will do half of our current jobs by 2031: Study
COMPUTERS could put more than half of Lismore workers out of their current jobs, with 15,257 positions at risk from technological development.
New South Wales parliamentary researchers say 51.58% of the state's jobs are likely to fall to computerisation over the next 10 to 15 years.
The study found 55.93% of jobs or 14,110 positions in the Clarence electorate were at risk, along with 48.99% or 13,914 jobs in Ballina.
Tweed stands to lose 54.22% or 14,418 of its current jobs and 14,466 positions in Coffs Harbour - 53.02% of its workforce - are at risk.
The Lismore electorate is likely to lose 52.55% of its present jobs.
Report author Chris Angus found areas with higher proportions of managers and professionals would feel the fewest effects from the switch to a computerised economy.
He said labourers, drivers and machinery operators were most in danger.
"Low-skilled workers are most vulnerable to these radical changes, but many middle-skill workers who perform predominantly routine tasks may also be caught up in the technological disruption," he said.
Despite the seemingly grim findings, Mr Angus said it was unlikely such a large portion of the NSW workforce would become unemployed within a decade or two.
"As has happened in the past, new technologies bring many positive developments to society, including economic prosperity, new types of work and an increasingly educated - and potentially happier - workforce," he said.
"On balance, the net gain from technology is likely to outweigh the negative consequences of change."
But educating workers beyond traditional labourer-type qualifications will be key to ensuring they remain out of the unemployment line.
"If the benefits are to be maximised and the potential pain minimised, policymakers will need to address these challenges, thinking creatively, drawing on present trends and future possibilities," the study found.