In the Puget Sound region, Pierce County stands out as one of the counties at most risk of losing jobs to automation and computerization, especially compared with King and Thurston counties, according to a new Future of Work Report released by WorkForce Central.

According to the report, nearly half (47 percent) of occupations in Pierce County are at high risk of automation (141,682 occupations over 75 percent). This is because of a disproportionate share of retail sales, hospitality, and food service jobs in the county, and not as many computer, tech, and white collar jobs compared with King and Thurston counties.

“The challenge confronting our region is not necessarily the lack of talent for the types of jobs associated with automation and computerization, nor do we have any apparent dearth of pipelines to these careers, nor do we lack models of education or employer partnerships. Our barrier is a lack of demand for these jobs regionally,” the report stated.

Among the recommendations: To create a regional task force comprised of partners from education, organized labor, businesses, community-based organizations, economic and workforce development, and local elected officials.

“This collaboration should be tasked with ongoing oversight of the regional impacts, risks, and opportunities of automation. It should also work to identify and implement solutions that capture emerging employment opportunities and mitigate labor loss and disparate outcomes,” the report stated.

WorkForce Central will be exploring this topic more in-depth at its upcoming Future of Work Forum on Sept. 26. Tickets available here. Read the full report here.