What Will You Do if Nearly Half Your Workforce is Replaced by Technology?

As the global technological revolution continues to advance at an astounding rate, those of us in the business of creating jobs for North Carolinians will need to come to grips with a number of unprecedented challenges. For example, according to a white paper published last year by NC State economist Michael Walden, Beyond the Connected Age: North Carolina in 2015, nearly half of all occupations (44 percent) and total employees (48 percent) comprising North Carolina’s current workforce have a high probability (greater than 70 percent) of being replaced by technology in the coming years. Faced with this future reality, it is the business community’s responsibility to ask ourselves the tough questions today: what will be the tangible impacts of technological advancement on our state’s economic growth potential, and how can we find new ways to support a truly talented workforce that can adapt to changing roles in an ever-evolving economy?

Fortunately, the North Carolina Chamber Foundation is already considering the future impacts of technological unemployment on our state. As part of our initial efforts, we have compiled a variety of previous research and outlined a number of key questions and considerations to help guide the next steps in this important conversation. Our next goal is to begin engaging member companies like you, utilizing your expertise to begin framing the discussion around the best ways to model the impact of technological unemployment on North Carolina’s economy. We want to be able to truly visualize what our state’s workforce needs will look like five, ten, twenty years into the future and beyond; and to do that, we are going to need your help.

If you would like to get involved, or simply find out more about the Chamber Foundation’s efforts to understand the impacts of technological unemployment on our state’s future workforce, contact Cassi Zumbiel at czumbiel@ncchamber.net. Together, let’s make sure North Carolina continues to be a regional, national and global leader in talent development – a state that responds to changing workforce needs at the speed of business!

Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber

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