Economic development conference discusses potential job loss to automation
Carson City– In its ongoing campaign to educate and prepare Nevada businesses and community members on the rapidly changing economic environment within the Silver State, the Nevada Economic Development Conference (NVEDC) scheduled for Sept. 11-13 will highlight a discussion into the future of job loss due to technological advances and automation. Dr. Johannes Moenius and Dr. Jess Chen, both from the University of the Redlands, will address these issues and more during their session on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 10:30 a.m. at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
While past analysis of job loss due to automation has focused on the Rust Belt, new research from Moenius and Chen shows that coming decades will see high concentrations of job loss in low-wage positions such as food preparation, office/administration and sales. It is estimated that by 2035, more than half of U.S. jobs will be susceptible to automation. Further, the Las Vegas and Reno Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) could see job losses of up to 65%, due to their dependency on these lower income positions.
Moenius, the founding director, and Chen, faculty fellow, of the Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis (ISEA) at the University of Redlands, believe that the probability of automation has been greatly underestimated over the years, and that a fresh approach to analysis needed to be taken. The University of Redlands team has studied the topics at length and has made some striking conclusions. Unlike previous studies, their efforts show that regions such as Las Vegas are most susceptible to automation because of their high share and dependency on low-wage paying jobs. It is surmised that in the future, the already low-wage earners, such as food servers and clerical positions, will be pushed out of the market by highly adaptive and cost effective artificial intelligence.
Moenius and Chen will address these issues and more during their NVEDC topic discussion: The Future Workforce – Will Robots & Drones Replace Humans. They will explore why Las Vegas and positions throughout the region will be hit particularly hard, what businesses will be impacted the most, and how economic developers and local governments can prepare for the future.
The NVEDC is open to anyone interested in the Nevada’s economy and will be held at the UNLV Student Union Sept. 11- 13. The conference will feature exclusive tours and track sessions that include the leading experts in the fields of agribusiness, economic development, energy, infrastructure/transportation, manufacturing, tourism/gaming and workforce development. NVEDC is the only business development and networking conference of its kind, offering a forum for a broad section of professionals to explore and share ideas, programs, services and products that will help “build a stronger Nevada in a global economy.”
“The Nevada Economic Development Conference is an exciting opportunity for businesses and community leaders to learn about what is happening in a variety of industries and explore the future of economic development in Nevada,” said NVEDC Chair and City of Henderson Economic Development and Tourism Director Barbra Coffee. “The conference is available to anyone interested in growth, opportunities and trends affecting our state.”
The cuts would come as a direct result of reduced tax collections caused by business closures across the Silver State due to the COVID-19 pandemic.